7 Smart Ways To Preserve Fish For The Hard Times Ahead

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Putting up fish is something a lot of fishermen don’t even consider. They may eat a lot of fish at certain times of the year but go without at others. With all the different ways to preserve fish, you can experiment to your heart’s desire with exotic recipes and flavors, all the while stocking up for your family’s future.


 how to preserve fish

Learning how to preserve fish for future consumption could be a life-saver.

Start your preparation by cleaning your fish as soon as possible after you catch it. Fish meat is said to deteriorate 200 times faster than beef, so the fresher the better. Some things to do to keep fish fresh include: keeping them in the live well or on a stringer until you are done fishing, keeping the cleaned fish in a creel that is dipped into the water occasionally to keep them cool, or putting the fish on ice in a cooler after they are cleaned.

Scale your fish with a plain old spoon and decide if you want the skin left on or not. For catfish and bullheads, you will want to skin them. Generally the heads should be removed from all fish you wish to preserve.

After they are cleaned and you are ready to work on them, decide if you will want to put them up whole or as fillets, steaks, or chunks. The method you wish to use will sometimes dictate how they should be cut.


Salting is an ancient practice fishermen used to preserve their catch while at sea and a long way from the market. Salt draws out moisture, drying out the fish and creating an environment where microorganisms can’t function and the fish are preserved. Most of the methods listed will use salting in one form or another.

Always use pickling salt if possible because it contains no iodine or additives to keep it from clumping and is of a finer grain than other types of salt. In a pinch you can use Kosher or sea salt, but they will not perform as well. Table salt with iodine will turn everything dark and can influence flavor. It should be avoided in all but survival situations.


Brining is preserving fish in a salty liquid. It is also a flavoring step (similar to a marinade) in most of the other types of preservation.

There are two methods used to brine fish. One is using salt to draw out the fish’s own moisture to create brine. A crock works well for this. First, put a layer of salt covering the bottom of the crock, and then place a layer of fish on top of it. Next, place another layer of salt, then fish again. Continue until you are out of fish or your crock is getting full. Put in a layer of salt on top and cover with a plate that fits inside the crock. Place a weight on top of the plate to hold the fish down.

The salt will draw out the liquid in the fish and create a brine. The weight on the plate will hold the fish down in the liquid. If the fish fail to make enough liquid to cover them, salty water can be added until the top layer is under the liquid. This should keep the fish for several weeks.

The second method is preparing a solution of salt and water or vinegar (or even wine) and using it to cover the fish. This brine should be at least ½ cup of salt to the gallon of water; one cup per gallon would be better. You can even use more, depending on your recipe. If you are using this brine as a marinade, other spices and flavors can be added. Soaking in this brine can last anywhere for ½ hour to a week, depending on your preference.


When you smoke fish, you are drying it out, similar to salting, to make an environment where bacteria can’t multiply. Usually, smoking uses heat to drive off the moisture without cooking the fish. You are also adding a distinctive flavor to the fish that many find quite enticing. Smoked salmon, anyone?  Some recipes and techniques call for enough heat that the fish is cooked at the same time.

Smoking works best with fillets, but it can be done to steaks or whole fish also. Smoking can be a one or two-step process. The one-step process involves taking the fresh cleaned fish and smoking it as is. The two-step process brines the fish for a time before the smoking. This can be to add salt for better preservation or more flavors for better palatability.

If you use a commercial smoker, follow your manufacturer’s directions. If you are using a homemade smoker, remember to use only hardwoods, with hickory and fruitwoods being the best. Evergreens will leave a tarry coating on the fish and ruin them.


Canning fish is generally discouraged since the meat deteriorates quickly. Fish is a low-acid food and thus has a long processing time. If it is attempted, you should cut your fish into chunks and can smaller pint-sized portions to be sure all the meat reaches a safe processing temperature. Canning fish should always be done with a pressure canner, and you should consult the most up-to-date information available regarding processing times. That being said, home-canned salmon can be very good.


Drying fish on a wooden rack just like our forefathers did can still be done. Fish should be salted and filleted if possible, or if small, opened up so they lay flat. They can be skewered with wooden spikes to aid in this if need be. They should be hung in a place out of the sun with good air circulation. They should be turned several times a day. They should be brought in at night and sprinkled with salt if they are still damp.

Drying will take several days and an effort should be made to keep insects and weather away. Sometimes a smoky fire will be burnt upwind to aid in this. Again, hardwoods only.


Freezing fish, while requiring the least amount of work, will preserve your fish at the highest quality. If you have the room in the freezer and like fresh fish, this is the route you should take. For best results use, a deep freeze and not the freezer compartment on your refrigerator.

You can freeze them in a block of ice by putting your fish in a container, then filling it with water and freezing the whole thing. This works well for bulk storing.

Another method is to dip your fish in cold water and wrap it in plastic or foil and freeze without draining. A third method is dipping. Put your fish on a tray in your freezer.  When frozen, take them out and dip them in water and return to the freezer. Repeat the process until you have the desired thickness of fish-sicles.


For a real adventure in putting up your fish, you can try pickling them. Most pickling recipes take a two-step approach. First, you either brine or cook your fish, and then you immerse them in a pickling mixture and allow them to soak. There are so many different recipes and advice it is hard to recommend just one.

Since you are being adventurous, you should try the recipe in Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices by George and Berthe Herter. George prefers brining the cleaned fish for about a week in a solution of salt and white vinegar, and then he gives the recipe for the pickling liquid, with a couple of options to suit your taste. (You can even turn it into a wine sauce.) Once the fish are in this pickling liquid for three days, they are put in the refrigerator for one more day. They are then ready to enjoy.

Even people who don’t care for fish find they sometimes like it when it is put up in one of these ways. In hard times, putting up fish will be a valuable skill to possess.

You may also want to read Natural Mosquito Bite Cures!

©2018 Off the Grid News

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The paper chase

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Toilet humour is always good for a blog post. Today’s episode comes from Friend Of The Blog ™, Tam, over at View From The Porch where she recounts an episode of what happens when natures call is delayed by overpackaged designer toilet paper.

Here’s the money shot: “Just before I had to declare an emergency and kiss my socks goodbye…..”



Meanwhile, everyone knows that women go through toilet paper like Germans through Poland. It’s exponential. Two women do not use twice as much TP as one. There’s a logarithmic (bodily) function somewhere in there.

I bring it up because toilet paper is one of those semi-serious things we survivalists rally around. Right after ‘who has the most guns’ and ‘how much ammo is enough’ comes the ‘how much toilet paper do you store’. I have the space to store a goodly amount, so I keep about 200 rolls on hand. That should cover me for a good while unless I develop a sudden interest in Mexican food or drink a Giardia cocktail.

Toilet paper is one of those things that is usually briefly touched on in survivalist fiction but almost never addressed in movies or TV. I’ve seen exactly one toilet paper reference in eight years of The Walking Dead. (Specifically, the episode where Bob The Alkie is introduced. He’s sitting on top of a truck trailer with a roll of TP sitting next to him. The implication being that he took a dump on the undead below him.)

Like .22 ammo, there’s just really no just-as-ggod-as substitutes. Leaves, phonebooks, small furry animals, paper towels, and anything else semi-disposable just don’t seem to do the trick.

I suppose you could go the way of the Third Worlders and make sure to use one specific hand for eating and the other for…….. but I didnt make these efforts and sacrifices so I can live like a Third Worlder.

My experience has been that toilet paper has only three natural enemies – women, mice, and moisture. Storing it in a waterproof container handles the moisture, storing it off the ground usually keeps themice from nesting in it, and buying the discount brands usually keeps the Gyno-Americans out of it.For travel, whether planned or unplanned, the usual thing is to just grab a roll, squash it flat, and shove it in a ziploc bag. That has a certain utilitarian quality is simple and effective. Turns out there are special ‘travel packs’ of toilet paper and you really can’t underestimate their utility. I usually just throw a couple of those pocket packs of Kleenex in my bag and use those if necessary…its convenient, cheap, multipurpose, and available.

Back in the old days, MRE’s used to give you actual toilet paper and it was worth saving the extras from your MRE pack for later use since it was packaged pretty well. Modern MRE’s give you these little blue individual squares that I cannot fathom were ordered by anyone who has ever had to take a dump out in the field.

Moral of the story? Well, first off, toilet paper is cheap and a definite nice-to-have… dont put a dozen rolls in the hallway closet and think you’re done. Go to CostCo and get a couple of the big 30-packs. Second, keep a half dozen in the bathroom. Without getting too..rude…go sit yourself on the toilet and figure out what your maximum reach is from there. Keep the a half dozen rolls within that reach. No brainer. And, finally, if you’re going through any crisis that requires you to whittle down your stock of end-of-the-world TP you’re also in a crisis where personal hygiene just took a boost in importance – so make damn sure to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer afterwards. Your stash of TP goes a lot further when you don’t have to deal with cholera and dysentery.

Saving space

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So youre a somewhat serious survivalist and you’ve come to the conclusion that a few medical supplies might not be a bad idea to stash back for the day the hospitals are overwhelmed and supplies are short. Off to eBay you go. And you realize that for the price of, say, two boxes of band aids at the local supermarket you can buy an entire case of 2,500 band aids from eBay vendors. Good band aids, too…not made in China crap. Same for gauze, pads, tape, etc, etc.

And then you realize that while 2,000 packages of 4×4 gauze might be useful after the apocalypse, until that time apocalypse happens it sure takes up a lot of room.

Thats pretty much what happened to me. As I was rearranging things the other week it occurred to me that the bulkier first aid supplies took up a lot of room. Not because they were bulky on their own, necessarily…but rather because there was so much of it.

Since I had the vacuum sealer out, I figured that perhaps vacuum sealing some of these items might cut down the space they took up, in addition to providing a lovely level of protection.

How much space? Well, lets grab a couple boxes of 3×8 non-adherent dressings and check…

So there’s a full box of dressings. Fifty per. Let’s see how they stack up…
One stack of fifty compresses down to a rather significantly smaller package.

So after a few hours I compared ‘before and after’. For example, the original box that held 18 ABD pads now held 35. That’s about a 50% savings in space and a thousand percent increase in protection from environmental factors.

The end of this long story is that I managed to clear off almost an entire shelf’s worth of supplies and compact them down to fit into one large plastic tub…and in the process add a layer of survivability to the packaging. (Everything was packaged in paper envelopes, like you get a band aid in, so there wasn’t exactly a tremendous amount of resistance to humidity, moisture, dust, dirt, etc, going on there.)

Do I ever think there’s going to be a time in my existence I need 50 rolls of rolled gauze? Man, I hope not. But once you divvy everything up between your primary location, the Beta Site, first aid kits, vehicles, etc, you can wind up going through quite a bit of stuff.

My first go-to for eBay medial stuff is these guys. After that, it’s just a matter of knowing the SKU or product number of what youre looking for and searching eBay. Oh…and having one of these.


Shelf Actualization

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I about twentyfive years ago, I built several really nice reloading benches. Really nice, solid, beasts made of 2×4’s and plywood sheeting. Problem is, I really only use one of them and the others take up space. So…..I chucked a screwdriver bit into the Dewalt and took the thing apart. What to replace it with? Why, more wire shelving of course.

As I was assembling the shelving, I took a few pics to demonstrate those wonderful S-hooks that I highly recommend for folks who use this type of shelving.

Notice that while one rack uses four uprights, the other rack will use only two. The S-cliips hung from the other rack will support the shelf instead of another set of upright.

S-hooks in place with shelf seated in them.

Finished unit. Still have another set of uprights (since each set comes with four and i only used six) so I could make a three-wide set of shelves using only two complete shelving sets.

Once the shelves were up, it was time to rearrange some things and one of those things was all the first aid and medical gear that had been in storage for…well…a while. Naturally, as I was doing this, I couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to make some changes. Biggest change is that a bunch of stuff got vacuum sealed to help keep the packaging clean, dry, and intact. Those paper pouches that hold the gauze and pads tend to delaminate after a while. I’m hoping that vacuum sealing them will prevent that.

And, while I was doing that, I figured I might as well vacuum seal the contents of the grab-n-go first aid kits. These are a couple milsurp medical bags I picked up off Sportsmans Guide or Major Surplus many years ago. Ideally, it’s not for immediate use, but rather a stash of items to take with you as you run out the door so that when you get to the Beta Site you can unpack them and have a full first aid kit on hand. All the contents of those went into the vacuum sealer too.

Seriously, gang…if you don’t have one already, go get one. It’s one of the most useful survival-oriented gadgets you can buy.

So, once all that was done, it was time to play musical chairs with all the crates, cans, boxes, and drums. Ideally, I’d like everything to be organized neatly and out of the way. The difference between hoarding and prepping is, I suspect, organization.


5 Dangers of Fuel Storage

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Gasoline is always an issue. There were stories out of Texas, after the hurricane, where people were filling up covered trash cans with gasoline. This was how their mind was working when the panic set in. Its a reality that any place in the world can face. You might think that having plenty of fuel …

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55 Gallon Drum Drinking Water Barrels For Emergency Storage

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water barrels

Storing drinking water is one of the most responsible elements of preparing for a potential disaster. Make sure your family has enough water to survive by choosing 55-gallon water barrels for your storage. Read on to learn what to look for in these products. Clean drinking water is readily available for almost everyone in the continental […]

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Harvesting Rainwater Reality Check

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Harvesting Rainwater Reality Check
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below!

“Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge. As preppers, we all know how vital water is to survival. We have the filters, the chemicals, the storage barrels, and most of us have a storage plan for drinking water. What happens when you run out? Have you planned on resupply your water reserves?

Continue reading Harvesting Rainwater Reality Check at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Must. Not. Buy.

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Ok, Crom as my witness I am done buying Ruger P95DC’s. I unexpectedly won not one but two auctions last week. That’s a pretty hard punch to the wallet to roll with. So….no more. Done. Finito. Inventory says I’ve got.. well…a bunch. Since my policy is usually to never sell a gun except to purchase another one, I suppose I should remove some of the P89 and P95 non-decocker variants to make room for the two on the way.

In my defense, though, the last one I purchased for $200 plus shipping was virtually untouched, with box and docs:

For a pistol platform that is a tertiary level of backup, I really might have gone overboard. But…a quality, reliable, inexpensive, and somewhat semi-disposable handgun is really not a bad thing to have squirreled away for that Rainy Decade. And, quite honestly, for $200 I cannot fathom a better handgun choice….certainly it is leaps and bounds a better choice than any -arov handgun, and it certainly beats, IMHO, a HiPoint. Remember, guys – after the end of the world there will be no award handed out for the person who managed to make it through the apocalypse with the cheapest gear. Yeah, you could go through Katrina with a Mosin-Nagant and a Makarov…. but why would you? Anyone whose aspirations exceed working as a WalMart greeter can come up with better materiels than that.

If someone I cared about showed up on my doorstep with not much more than the clothes on their back, I like to think I’d be able to gear them up in a manner that would not embarrass or shame me.Guns such as this one allow me to do just that. On the other hand, I have, literally, no people I  am close to who do not already have enough guns in their own stashes to do this sort of thing. But Fate is a fickle and unpredictable thing…so you never know.

Is this a likelihood? Probably not. But I feel better when I have extra guns in the safe, and (normally) I can afford to pick them up every once in a while. And, like the stash of freeze drieds, a couple of these will get packaged for the Deep Sleep and wind up at the Beta Site. Since these stupid things are, relatively, so cheap it isn’t like there’s a tremendous opportunity cost.

Overkill? Meh…maybe. But I think differently about these sorts of things than most humans. I tend to overthink things. For example, if I have a friend or relative that I visit out of state, I can afford to stash one of these there for my use while I’m there and not have to deal with the hassle of flying with a pistol.

My reckoning says I’ve about 25 years left on my meter, and if I were unable to buy any more guns after tomorrow I think I’d be pretty okay…not happy…but okay.

The good news for you? You guys will no longer be bidding against me on GunBroker for these things.

Water Bottles: Is the Packaging Now To Flimsy for Storage

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Water storage is one of those things that is really tough to sure up. You just need so much water, so much space and a ground that can handle it. Of course, water is one of those things that we lose sleep over. This is because we are struggling with our filters and are water …

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101+ Dehydrating Recipes for Food Storage, Hiking and Paleo Diets

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If you think that dehydrating is limited to fruits and raw vegetables, you are wrong. Dehydrating is just one part of creating a vast and effective food storage program. You will find that you can create any number of recipes for eating at home or on the go if you become accustomed to dehydrating and …

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Book Review: Cooking With Home Storage

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Cooking With Home Storage is one of the first prepping books I bought, and one of the few books that I have bought more than once. The authors, Layton and Tate are masters of home food storage. I would recommend a prepper buying any book on this subject written by either of these smart ladies. They are the food storage equivalent to Jeff Copper in Firearms. Cooking With Home Storage has useful guides to long term food storage, great recipes, and other tips to make life a little easier, and more comfortable. You would be well served with having this book

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Drying Herbs the Easy Way

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My favorite way of drying herbs is to use nylon mesh hampers that have cloth handles. These were designed for college students, and they come in various colors. They are also collapsible for easy storage, so we have several of them and we usually dry four to five different herbs at a time.

We have installed hooks used to hang plants in the ceiling of our carport, and we loop the hamper handles over the hooks. Since we have a lot of wind in our area, looping the handles over a second time secures them from being blown off the hooks, and the herbs can dry in the shade of the carport.

The herbs need to be stirred up occasionally to separate them and make sure they are getting enough air, and it is easy to just hit the bottom of the hamper a couple of times as you go by. Some dry within just a couple of days.

If it is going to rain, it is best to take the hampers down and hang them indoors. Even though they are protected when they’re under the carport, it is still better to put them in a place away from the moisture while they are drying.

Drying Different Herbs

When I am drying herbs on stalks, I cut the whole stalk and put it in the hamper.

When I dry leafy herbs like comfrey, which are more compact, I leave the stems on the leaves and put just a small amount of leaves in each hamper. I stir these more often.

As you put the herbs in the hamper, you will get more of a feel for how many to put in as you see how much they compact. I usually don’t fill the hampers more than one-third full.

Storage Tips

When the herbs are dry, just strip the leaves down off the stalks.

For comfrey or mullein leaves, wear gloves and crumble the leaf off the stems. You can use a coffee grinder if you want to powder some of the dried herbs.

Store the dried herbs in separate bags. When the herbs are in the bags, you can crumble them up some more. I prefer using the gallon-size plastic storage bags, but not the kind with sliders.

You can also store the dried herbs in jars.

Keep the stored herbs out of the light, in a pantry or other cool area.

This article by Sharon Devin was submitted for The Grow Network’s 2015 Writing Contest and was originally published on June 15, 2015. Thank you, Sharon!


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Five Food Storage Lessons Learned From WWII

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My great-grandparents were preppers way before prepping was a thing. Is there a specific term for preppers who are also hipsters? Hipster-preppers? Prepsters? If there is, then that’s what you could call my great-grandparents, Dell and Hildegarde Stringham. They were the original  preppers, long before the media started making documentaries about them. They had food […]

Ammo Storage & Stockpiling

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Ammo Storage & Stockpiling
Dane… “The Gunmetal Armory” Audio player provided!

On this episode of the Gunmetal Armory, we discuss Ammunition Storage, Ammunition types, and Ammunition Stockpiling. We are also going to do the usual Product Pick Of The Week, cover any “Ask Dane” questions, and do a Give-Away. We’re going to be giving away an LAPG Ultimate Survival Pod from LA Police Gear. We will be doing a trivia question just like we usually do.

Continue reading Ammo Storage & Stockpiling at Prepper Broadcasting Network.


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Ugh…Im immersing myself in a bit of reorganization of the long-term food. The positive aspect is that it gives me a chance to inspect, update , and repackage things. The negative side is that it’s a buncha work. After the last big Mountain House buy I wound up with a dozen cases of leftovers to add to my own stockpile. But…where to put it? Its an eye-opening experience. I’ve come across quite a bit of older stuff that may need to be excised from the current stash…most notably some MRE’s that are, no lie, 20 years old. Gotta figure out what to do with those.

It’s very odd to come across all these different things that have been in storage so long I’ve forgotten about them.

Anyway, when you have spent as many years as I have doing this sort of lifestyle you wind up having these sorts of to-do lists. I’m hoping that once Im done I’ll have freed up a bunch more space for better organization. And, really, I need to split the whole thing into an even distribution of three or four stockpiles to be relocated elsewhere…Ive got way too many eggs in too few baskets.

But…there’s a certain fun and bittersweet nostalgia to going through stuff from so many years ago. I’m curous to see what turns up and what winds up not being worth keeping. (For example..the cheap sleeping bags will probably be eliminated since I have so many of the military sleep systems these days.)

Collecting Rainwater – Storage Options For Your Prepping Plans

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One significant thing that we all need to realize is that there is an important and extremely useful resource that we are not utilizing to the full extent of its benefits. For the most part, we allow it to go to waste. That important resource is rainwater and many of us take it for granted. …

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Its only overkill if you don’t need it

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So after the last large purchase of freeze-drieds, it was time to put the leftovers away. The freeze-drieds (FD) are packaged with an advertised shelf life of a minimum of around 30 years, and the experience of some folks seems to suggest that rating is pretty spot-on.

Thirty years…. I’ll expire before the food does.

But, the food only lasts as long as the container it’s packaged in. Now, I have had some MH sitting on the shelf for almost 20 years and it appears to be just fine. BUT….I have also had some #10 cans from the LDS cannery that eventually started to rust and look like they may be a bit sketchy. (One can had almost turned black with freckling, but when I cut it open everything was flawless inside…but there is no room for ‘probably ok’ when it comes to food storage.) Honestly, I do virtually nothing special to my #10 cans…I stick ’em in a cardboard box that holds six cans, tape it shut, and stick it on a wire shelf in my basement. Here in my part of Montana, the basement stays cool with virtually no humidity…optimal conditions. But, when a can of FD beef or chicken sets you back fifty bucks a can, it’s probably a good idea to maybe add an extra layer of protection. And some folks live in areas where the humidity can get downright troublesome…like, oh, the southeast US for example.

I’ve read a lot of stuff on how to store food long-term. Other than the ubiquitous statement about ‘a cool, dry place’, there are a few other suggestions on how to make sure your canned stuff doesn’t have it’s structural integrity compromised. The most detailed that I’ve read involves removing the labels from each can and ‘painting’ the can with (or dipping it in) melted paraffin. This seems like a pretty solid way to do things except that it also sounds like a tremendous pain in the butt. As I pointed out, there is an alternative. The folks at repackbox.com were kind enough to send me one of their kits that are designed to maximize the lifespan of the #10 can that’s housing the stuff that’s preventing you from having to eat your dog. I am always up for examining new gear..

So, starting at the top:

UPS dropped off a box and I was delighted at how much detail went into things. I mean, the storage boxes are marked with places to write down he contents of the box and then they provide a new black Sharpie for you to do the writing with. And a roll of tape to tape up the boxes. Literally, everything you need to pack your #10 cans for long-term storage is included…except for the shelves. Note to the guys at repackbox.com: find a bulk deal on surplus P38 can openers and include a couple with each overbox.

  • 24 boxes for individual cans
  • 6 overboxes that hold 4 individual boxes
  • 24 polybags
  • 24 dessicant packets
  • 24 zip ties
  • Sharpie
  • Roll of tape

So the idea is that you take your expensive can of yuppie chow, put it in the polybag, add a packet of desicant, ziptie the bag shut, seal it up in the small box, and then load four of them into the overbox. At that point you’re good to go for what will probably be the next hundred years.

Lather, rinse, repeat until all boxes filled. The boxes, by the by, are some heavy duty cardboard. Is it waterproof? Of course not, but thats why the cans are sealed in a polybag. Is this the sort of packaging that you could put together on your own? Maybe. I ship stuff for a living so I know all the sources for this kinds stuff. But…here it is, in one place, ready to go, and just a couple mouse clicks away.

For my current needs, this is overkill. But, overkill isn’t a bad thing. What I mean by overkill is that, for me and my current circumstance, this is more protection than seems necessary (although erring on the side of caution isn’t a vice in the world of preparedness). But…let’s say I was going to store a bunch of this stuff offsite at the Beta Site, or the family hunting cabin, or in the attic at my uncles warehouse, or under the floorboards of a family members kitchen…..well, then there’s really no such thing as overkill. Come the day when you’re fleeing the [zombies/hurricane/troops/tornado/alien overlords] and arrive at your hideout, tip over the fake woodpile, and untarp your cache, it’ll be hard to think “Man, I really didn’t need to pack that stuff as well as I did”.

The biggest issue I would think anyone would have with this sort of lily gilding is the expense. But, four cans of FD meat is $200. And then there’s the whole what-if-my-life-depends-on-it angle. Breaking the cost down, it’s about $2.91 per can to exponentially increase the level of  protection of your food supply.

Honestly, my own policy is probably that the stuff I store in my basement will probably not be packed like this. I mean, its in my basement…I can go downstairs and check on it every week if Im so inclined and stay on top of any issues. BUT…the stuff thats going to be tucked away Elsewhere…where I may not see it for a year (or years) at a time…well, that stuff is going to definitely get packed up like this.

So there you have it. There’s the old saying about how if your pants absolutely Must Not Fall Down that you go with suspenders and a belt…and then you sew your shirt to your waistband. This kit from repackbox.com is definitely the sew-your-shirt-to-your-waistband step of extra certainty. Go check ’em out.


Go deep

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One is none, forty thousand is one.

It occurs to me that one of the better reasons for having a ‘group’, rather than being solo, is to have some folks to help you carry the damn ammo up and down the stairs. Whew.

This will be Deep Sleep ammo. For target and plinking I’ll use whatever is available at WalMart or wherever, but this stuff goes right in there with the Mountain House stuff. The only time I expect to see it again is during some enormous crisis or when I transport it to the Beta Site. And, for the record, each 40mm ammo can holds 8,250 rounds…or 165 boxes of 50. And they’re heavy….right at the limit of man-portability.


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Have a few (ahem) leftovers from the Mountain House group buy that are going into the Deep Sleep. I used this opportunity to adjust quantities of ‘broken case’ items. See, the boxes normally hold six #10 cans. If I have only five cans of, say, Diced Beef, that means that six-can box is short by one can…or, in other words, it’s a partial or ‘broken’ case. So, I used this opportunity to round out my broken cases. In the process it also gave me a chance to inspect things. Embarrassingly, according to the dates stamped on the box, the last inspection I made on these things was seven years ago. In reality I should probably inspect these things once every other year or so.

Why? Well, mostly just to check that nothing has started to rust or otherwise be compromised. Last thing I want is to be packing up one day to move to a new location, pick up a cardboard case and have a bunch rusted cans fall out the soggy bottom of the box. No, no, no,no. I did not spend this kinda money to just wind up heaving it in a dumpster someday because I didn’t take the time to do the things necessary to protect my stuff.

What sorta steps? Well, nothing terribly intricate. Everything is in a cardboard box, taped shut, the boxes are stacked at least two feet off the floor on wire shelving, away from electrical and water sources, and (in theory) routinely inspected for damage. If I really wanted to go balls deep on the preservation side of things, the guys at repackbox.com sell a kit for really going full Burt Gummer and protecting your investment. I might have to get that to try out and see how things hold up over time.

By the by, the oldest of the cans I have in storage are pre Y2k (in fact, they were purchased at a post Y2K sale) and the majority are about 14 years old. How have they held up? Pretty well. Labels havent peeled, can integrity appears solid, boxes show no damage….just a little dust on the boxes.


30+ Ways to Use Dandelions in Food Storage and Around the Home

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When it comes to learning about foraging I see a lot of preppers looking to find a number of rare species to forage and feed them in the wild. They are often studying foraging and looking for secret fruits or nuts that only grow in the wilderness. Its important that you understand one of the …

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Do Bullets Go Bad?

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Do Bullets Go Bad? If you plan on surviving any type of end of the world collapse its going to take ammo. There are many articles out there where people show you many ways to get your hands on high quality, bulk ammo for cheap. Maybe you are in a situation where you have a …

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How To Declutter Stuff In Your Home Quickly

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Well, it’s that time of year when I feel the need to declutter stuff around the house and garage. Again. I actually helped a friend yesterday declutter stuff in her master bedroom closet. I don’t know about you, but if someone will just come and talk to me as I start pulling stuff out of closets, it’s a lot more fun. I had gone to breakfast with her and she mentioned how overwhelming it is to organize closets and cupboards, etc. I told her I would help her, then I went to pick up some zippered bags and called to see when we could get started. I brought my Minute Timer but we didn’t use it. We jumped in and started tossing, recycling, and boxed stuff to sell. I like to clean my house in 15-minute increments because then it makes me work faster as I hear the timer tick.

Anyone that knows me really well, understands my passion for organizing everything. I really think I am OCD and I own it. If my daughters mention a closet could use some organizing, I’m on it. They know I love cleaning out stuff and labeling everything. It’s probably a good thing I don’t live close to IKEA or The Container Store, I love those stores. I could browse in those departments with containers and organizers for hours.

Let’s make this easy today, you can use 33-gallon clear bags for donating stuff, black bags for trash, or if you have some empty boxes you’ve saved for moving, just them and be sure to label them based on what’s inside. If the stuff you pull out of the closets, cupboards, drawers, or the clothes hanging up in closets are no longer useful or no longer give you joy, it’s time to let the stuff go. I promise you’ll feel calm and joy in your life with less. The biggest bonus you can give to yourself is letting go of clothes that someone else could use today, not ten years from now. If you haven’t worn them in three years, chances are you will never wear them again.

I know, I can hear some people saying, “but this cost me $$$$,” but if you aren’t wearing it, why hang on to it? Has it been ten years since you wore it or used it? Is it a collector’s item, Or is it just clutter? Let’s keep the good stuff and let go of the rest. Maybe it’s my age, but I don’t want my daughters to have to go through useless stuff after I pass away.

I know it’s hard to let go, I get it. My friend mentioned a quilt made by her grandmother was frayed on the edges, but she felt a sentimental attachment to it. You could tell it was a well-loved quilt. I told her I would help her “bind” the quilt another day. We put that special quilt in a zippered bag to protect it with love. These are the bags I buy, you can get them at Bed, Bath & Beyond or order them online. Sweater Bags and Quilt Bags. I used to buy those “vacuum bags” but they ended up not working out for me. They would pop open and split.

Now, the kitchen “stuff” is a totally different ball game. I’m a kitchen gadget junkie, I confess. I love cooking, baking and trying new recipes, it’s my passion for life, I guess. Yes, I do have those cupboards organized pretty well. But I will organize them another day. Again to see if I can eliminate things that haven’t been put to use, no matter what the reason. Somethings the tuff decision is whether to throw the items away or give them away. My husband tells me that someone can put to use the things I don’t want or need. He likes taking things to organizations like Goodwill, or the Deseret Industries.  He figures those folks know best what can be sold or placed elsewhere, so we drop them off and let the people there make the decision. Worst case, things like the clothes will be used to make scrap or rags.

Declutter Stuff

declutter stuff

This is where you have to be ready to make a decision whether you can let go of stuff or not.


I know, I can hear some of you say “it’s overwhelming to know where to start” or you may say, “I hate to declutter stuff.” Or you may have zero interest in cleaning out any closet, cupboard or dresser drawers. No worries.


I remember my great-grandmother taking pieces of fabric from worn out dresses, shirts, and blouses and “piecing” a quilt with the different fabrics. Those quilts continue to be treasured. Donate what can be recycled.


You can have a garage sale, sell stuff on Craigslist or Facebook Market Place. You may be able to take some items to a consignment store. This will help your pocketbook and help someone else at the same time to purchase items they couldn’t normally afford to buy. It’s a win-win for everyone.


When in doubt about stuff, keep it and wait six months when you have time to purge your house again. I have an extra Bernina sewing machine I bought a few years ago. I won’t sell it because I would be lucky to get pennies on the dollar if I tried to sell it. I am saving it for one of my granddaughters who will get married someday.


If the item(s) cannot be fixed, repaired, or recycled, place them in your trash can. And don’t look back. Trust me, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.


Here’s the deal, there are so many people that could wear those shoes on the shoe racks that you will never wear, those shirts that no longer fit you, or those jackets that would be great for someone else to use. I went with a young girl and she purchased prom shoes and a prom dress at a thrift store. She was thrilled and looked beautiful in that slightly used dress! I was thrilled to hear that P.A.W.S. has a place to donate stuff to help the pets in this world have some money to help them. Yes, I dropped some stuff off today. What a great feeling.

I hope this post helps you declutter stuff that can be used by someone else, give you some extra cash, and feel the joy of living with less stuff. May God bless this world to be prepared for the unexpected.

Remember Moms Timer by Linda

Copyright pictures:

Declutter: AdobeStock_112066550 by Marek

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52 Weeks Savings Plan: Watch for these February bargains

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If you’ve been following the 52 Week Savings Plan, you should have a whopping $10 set aside. Don’t worry, that little bundle of money will continue to grow! Each month I’ll be sharing tips for making the most of the money you have to enable that nest egg to grow and grow and grow. If […]

Where To Hide Your Guns

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Where To Hibernate Your Guns As Americans we all know the importance of our second amendment. Some take a stronger stance than others. The question that floats in my head is, ‘what will you do if the come for your guns.’ Its true our guns are safe today and they might be safe tomorrow. What …

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A Frugal Guide to Freeze Dried Food Storage

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A Frugal Guide to Freeze Dried Food Storage While freeze dried food storage is a crucial part of your prepping plan it should not cost you everything and you should not go in debt trying to stock your shelves. This is a very important thing to understand about prepping in general. Fight the panic prepping. …

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The food label and what it means!

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The food label and what it means!
Host: Lynna… “A Preppers Path” Audio player provided!

Food and the prepared life seems simple enough, however, there are so many varied aspects or aisles to travel down. There is the often first heard of, storage, how much for how long, bulk or freeze dried or? Grow your own, farmers market, coops, buying clubs? They all have something in common, they are all about food but for all the hoopla in the prepper world have you thought of what you are eating.

Continue reading The food label and what it means! at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

13 Food Storage Resolutions

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Storing food, say a month or two’s worth, is no longer the habit of a fringe group of Doomers. Everyday moms like me have an extra stash of food set away for those “just in case” events. After working on my own food storage pantry for about 9 years now, I’ve learned a lot and […]

Using Butter Powder: A Tutorial

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Most food storage products purchased from food storage companies are pretty much the same all across the board. Foods like wheat and freeze-fried fruit are all very similar no matter what brand you choose to buy. Other products, and dairy products in particular, are not that way so much. They vary from company to company, and […]

5 Best Emergency Gear Storage Containers

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  Written by Harrison Chucks Are you looking for containers to store your emergency gear? Are you finding it difficult to accommodate all of that camping gear in your home? If yes, the 5 options which we would discuss today would be the perfect containers for storage.     Combination Lock Storage Box If you’re looking for something more high-tech, this one is combination lock storage box is for you. It has a programmable lock as well. This would ensure that whatever you […]

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A Short Guide To The Proper Storage of Cookie Ingredients

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If the #1 rule to purchasing a home is, “Location, Location, Location,” then the #1 rule of food storage is, “rotation, rotation, rotation.” I mention it because some thirty-year-old brown sugar and chocolate chips recently came into my possession, and it probably would have been good if it had been rotated out a few decades […]

How to Make a Hidden Compartment From Jerry Can

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How to Make a Hidden Compartment From Jerry Can As preppers we value a place to hide things. This is a characteristic that we value more than most. If only we all could have a batcave of our won. Whenever I see an article that offers a new way to hide things in walls or …

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Long Term Food Storage Methods

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Long Term Food Storage Methods Going hungry during a crisis is not an option, and nothing brings you down like the lack of food and water. Running out of food is something all preppers think about, no matter how full their pantry is. All humans have this fear of hunger, and it’s something embedded deep …

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Built in Console Cabinet with Secret Compartment

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Built in Console Cabinet with Secret Compartment Why are secret compartments so cool? Though most of us have no one who would ever come searching our homes with the desire to find out what you have. Still, the desire to hide things is so huge in Americans that it’s practically absurd. The truth is we …

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Wire shelving and S-hooks

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Someone pointed out the shelving in a previous post.

For storage of food and household goods, I use the wire shelving units found at CostCo. They’re about $90 and you get four uprights, six shelves, and four wheels. What a lot of people don’t know is that you can buy a cheap little force multiplier that really opens up a world for your shelving plans. These little jewels are called “S-hooks”.

Imagine that you buy a shelving unit and set it up. You have one rack of six shelves, yes? Now, lets say you bought a second unit. You set that one up. You now have two columns of shelves next to each other. Ah, but if you had the s-hooks you could have three clumns of shelves, using those same two units. The s-hooks allow you to hang a shelf off the edge of another shelf. And since you can put the s-hook anywhere along the edge of the shelf, you can make L-shaped shelving arrangements to co around corners, or even T-shaped arrangements.

Here’s an example:

thumbnailNotice that the run of shelving on the right butts up against the row running along the back wall. Where they meet, thats where the s-hooks are…thats why theres no upright at that inside corner.

958e05b7b00fc0c6e6f8fdbf6cacc9da-mediumI get my s-hooks from these guys.

Also, note that when you buy wire shelving make sure the shelving has a reinforcing rib running down the middle of each shelf. In the first image you can see a rib that is just like the one running around the edges of he shelf. You don’t want just a piece of wire running the length of the shelf, you want an actual rib. Anything else and the thing will sag and not hold weight well. I’ve been using the wire shelving I got at Costco for over fifteen years and never had a problem with it. Yeah, it’s made in China but there’s not a lot out there in American-made wire shelving that meets my needs.

Anyway, I highly recommend the wire shelving for your food/gear storage and if you do decide to go that way, definitely get the s-hooks….they will make the shelving so much more versatile.


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Despite what you see on The Walking Dead, decent hygiene can make a big difference in a crisis. Ignore, for a moment, no one wants to be squeezed into a pickup truck with six sweaty guys in multicam who smell like the towel bin of an NFL locker room. Think about this, after a long day of sweating, getting dirty, possibly getting some bodily fluids of all sortsa flavors sprayed on you, and the infrequent application of bugspray/sunblock, etc, you wind up getting a decent size cut or abrasion  on you. In TWD our sweaty, grungy heroes carry on effortlessly. In the real world, you’re setting yourself up for all sorts of nasty infection-y badness.

Preparedness is about prevention. You’re stopping problems before they happen. You know how in the winter season we’re all told to wash our hands frequently to prevent catching colds? We all agree that’s a good idea. Well, a shower or some other form of bathing, with soap, on a daily (or more frequent) basis is just as good.

Soap is awesome stuff but it’s a mild pain in the butt to store. I like to use Ivory soap because I can use on my skin, in my hair, and even to clean clothes. It’s sort of a Swiss army knife of soap. Problem is, it is fabulously hydroscopic. Don’t believe me? Go grab a paper-wrapped bar of Ivory soap and peel the wrapper off. I guarantee you the wrapper will be damp, moist, or adhere to the soap in a manner suggesting a high moisture content. And if you leave soap exposed to air too long…it turns into a rock. (Which seems counterintuitive since you would think that if it absorbs moisture it would turn to mush.)

I mention it because while I like Ivory soap, I hate paying for it. Surprisingly, I found a deal on Amazon for 100 bars for $40. (Requires that Yuppie Survivalist luxury – Amazon Prime) Well, a hundred bars oughtta last me a while. So, I ordered ’em up and they arrived today.

thumbnailSo now that they’re here, and we’ve established that they fossilize after long enough time exposed to air, what do we do? Stop exposing them to air. Break the vacuum sealer out of storage and repackage things.

thumbnail2This is one of those situations where a vacuum sealer is great for a task other than storing food. Seriously, if you think they’re just good for putting food away and not much else, you really need to think more creatively. Go get one. You’ll never regret it.

A few years ago I came across a slightly better deal at my local grocery store. Three bars for a buck. I wound up picking up all they had and I packaged them the same way I’m packaging these. I finally used up the last ones last month and they stored just fine, I suppose it’s possible that with enough hot water and scrubbing, the dessicated bars of soap might work, but why take chances?

thumbnailSo, I’m set for the next couple years on soap and can keep myself clean and smelling awesome after a long day of looting burned out police cars, manning roadblocks, and fending off zombies. Or, more likely, I’ve simply knocked off one of many things on my logistical checklist for the next several years.

thumbnail4But, point is, if you’re going to store large amounts of things like food, ammo, toilet paper, and batteries you should also go just as deep on the personal hygiene stuff as well. Being stuck in Katrinaville (Or San Juan, I suppose) is no time for skin infections, bad teeth, conjunctivitis, ear infections, and that sorta thing. Floss, toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, deodorant, washcloth,  toothbrush, talc, a comb, razors (Ivory works for shaving foam), and some hand sanitizer will give you pretty much everything you need to prevent the kinda funk that knocks your efficiency down when you need it the most.

6 Ways To Prevent Rust While Storing Your Garden Tools For Winter

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6 Ways To Prevent Rust While Storing Your Garden Tools For Winter

Garden tools perform some hard, dirty jobs for us. But by the end of the summer they often need maintenance or at least a good cleaning.

Before you hang up your tools for the winter, take some time to get them in tip-top shape. Following the steps below during the end of fall will mean a faster and easier start to next spring’s gardening season. It also will save money in the long run, since tools kept in good shape won’t rust and won’t need to be replaced as often.

1. Clean and dry

If any of your tools have dried soil caked, pull out a wire brush and give them a good scrubbing. If necessary, dunk or soak the tools in a bucket of warm water to loosen stubborn soil (soap isn’t necessary).

Tree-trimming tools — like pruning shears or clippers — should be wiped down. If there’s any sap on those tools, they will need a little extra work. Sometimes, a soak in hot water is all that’s needed to remove sap, but if it’s stubborn, you may need to use another product to get it off, like turpentine, WD-40, Pine-Sol, or a solvent that’s specifically for dissolving resin (check the chainsaw section at your local home improvement store).

An All-Natural Fertilizer That Can Double Garden Production!

Once all your tools are clean, spread them out in the sun to dry or give them a good rub down with a cloth.

2. Remove rust

Even if you take good care of your tools, rust happens. But a rusty tool doesn’t need to be tossed. Small spots of rust can be scrubbed off with steel wool or a wire brush. Heavily rusted tools are perfect candidates for the wire brush attachment on your drill. (Since this attachment often throws off small bits of wire, make sure to wear eye protection.)

3. Sand and sharpen

Sanding down wooden handles helps remove splinters and also smooths out the rough, raised grain that happens when wood gets wet.

Most metal garden tools — including pruning shears, clippers, shovels, spades, hoes, pitchforks and hand trowels — have some sort of blades. Keeping all these blades sharp will make your work easier. And, in the case of tools (like shears and clippers) that cut plants, a sharp cut is easier on the plant, too.

All you need to sharpen your garden tools is a mill file, which is a long, flat metal file. Use the existing bevel on the edge of the tool’s blade as a guide. Place one end of the file on the bevel and push the file, using light, even pressure, against the bevel and away from your body. After each stroke, move the file to the next spot. Once the blade is completely sharpened, use 300 grit sandpaper to remove any “burrs” (tiny shreds of metal) clinging to the blade.

4. Sanitize

Sanitizing isn’t necessary for extending the life of your tools, but it is one of the most important things that you can do for your garden. Sanitizing will rid your tools of fungi and pathogens so that you don’t transfer those to your plants in the spring. Mix one part bleach to 10 parts water in a bucket, and swish each tool through the water. Once sanitized, your tools will need to dry in the sun again or be wiped down with a towel.

5. Season with oil

Both the wooden and metal parts of your garden tools should be treated with oil. Although virtually any kind of oil will do (including WD-40 and motor oil), boiled linseed oil is the best choice for tools that come in contact with food-producing plants. (In a pinch, vegetable cooking oil is an effective and safe alternative.) Use an old cloth or towel to liberally spread oil over all metal and wooden parts of your tools, and let the tools sit for about 15 minutes before wiping them dry. Oiling helps prevent metal from rusting and wood from cracking, and it’s a great way to extend the life of your tools.

6. Store wisely

A dry environment is a must for overwintering your tools. And, if at all possible, hang your tools up. Tools that are stored resting on their blades (such as spades) or that are tossed onto a pile with other tools are more susceptible to damage.

Alternately, storing tools in a bucket of sand and vegetable oil can help prevent rust, keep tools clean, and even help keep tools sharp, since pushing them into the sand has an abrasive action on the blades. Mix about a half gallon of vegetable oil into five gallons of sand and shove in anything with a blade — from shovels and trowels to pruning shears.

Although I, for one, often feel “gardened out” by the time late fall rolls around, spending a few hours on an autumn afternoon cleaning and preparing garden tools for winter storage will be well worth it come spring.

Do you have any other tips for storing garden tools? If so, let us know in the comments below.

Get Rid of Paper Clutter

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Lack of space is hindering my ability to add to my emergency supplies so I restarted my de-cluttering efforts.  I have two large boxes of files and miscellaneous items that have been sitting around for two years taking up space.  Why haven’t I gone through them before?  Procrastination, that’s why!  I dread going through these boxes because I don’t want to deal with what’s inside. I finally made myself open them and deal with […]

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The Only Apple Pie Filling Recipe You Will Ever Need

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Apples just seem to overflow here at our homestead. And thankfully so! One of my favorite memories of growing apples is the day those little red beauties are fully ripe and ready to pick. That’s the day I know my busy canning and baking season begins and my home will smell gloriously of all things apple, including apple pie filling.

They are an excellent staple to have on the pantry shelf, easy to can and put up, and best of all…delicious! In a crisis, the type that all Survival Moms prep and plan for, comfort foods will be so appreciated by everyone in the family. Can you imagine the looks on the faces of your family when you pull a hot apple pie or apple cobbler out of the oven while you’re hunkered down weathering a particularly bad storm or some other crisis? Comfort foods are more important that we realize.

The Only Apple Pie Filling Recipe You Will Ever Need via The Survival Mom

Each year, we can huge quantities of applesauce, make apple butter for the grandparents, and dehydrate apple chips, but far and away our favorite way to preserve all the beautiful apples we get in the fall is Apple Pie Filling! No matter how much we make, there can never be enough for our family and friends.

I can seasonally and in bulk to keep my pantry shelves stocked. This also gives me a chance to teach my children the art of canning and have shelf stable (delicious) foods on hand, at the ready. This helps me use sales and in-season foods at the best price and quality, while keeping the pantry stocked.

Apples are so versatile that we came up with 27 Things You Can Do With Apples.  Now, it’s prime time to finish canning those apples and stock your pantry from scratch!

Homemade Apple Pie Filling!

I love to have this super simple, yet very delicious, pie filling on my pantry shelf! It’s easy to can and makes for effortless desserts all year long. What’s not to love? Here’s my recipe for apple pie filling.

Apple Pie Filling

18 cups of your favorite canning apples, peeled & sliced (about 6 lbs.)

1/4 cup lemon juice

4 cups brown sugar

1 cup cornstarch

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

¼ 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

8 cups water

In a large bowl, mix the apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside. In a large pot, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for two minutes. It will start to thicken up.

Add your apples and return to a boil. (You may want to drain off some of the lemon juice, but some folks think it adds a nice flavor.) Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Don’t forget to stir OFTEN. You don’t want this to burn!

Have your canner, quart jars, and lids hot and ready. Pack each jar with filling, leaving head space, 1 inch from the top.

Process in your water bath canner for 20 minutes. Makes about 5 – 6 quarts! Carefully remove your jars from the canner. Set your jars on a towel, counter, or table for 24 hours, then line your pantry shelf!

Enjoy! You’ve just made it so simple for yourself to have a homemade dessert ready in minutes for your family, to take to a family in need, or that last minute congregation or family gathering! We use this as a base ingredient to make apple pies, crisps, ice cream topping, dump cakes, etc., etc.–in minutes! Apple pie filling always makes a welcome gift, too.

The Only Apple Pie Filling You Will Ever Need via The Survival Mom


Apartment Prepping and Small Spaces!

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Apartment Prepping and Small Spaces Ray Becker… “The Ray Becker Show” Audio player provided! In the first segment I cover the equities markets, metals, the dollar, Shanghai metal prices, BDI, VIX…All of the Indicators that we’ve been following. I believe that it is critical for us to closely monitor all activity at the beginning of … Continue reading Apartment Prepping and Small Spaces!

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4 Food Storage Mistakes You Might Be Making

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4 Food Storage Mistakes You Might Be Making Masters call it the 10,000 rule. Bruce Lee said very succinctly that he did not concern himself with the man who has thrown 10000 kicks once; instead he feared the man who has thrown 1 kick 10,000 times. I bring up these two instances because we have …

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5 Sneaky Storage Spaces for Supplies in a Small Apartment

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com One of the biggest challenges in preparing for emergencies in an apartment is finding storage space.  You also need spaces to hide things away from prying eyes. Here are a few sneaky storage ideas I’ve tried myself, or sent in by readers: Over the door shoe organizer You don’t necessarily have to use it for shoes: Store extra reserves such as bottled water, food, toilet paper and power outage needs such as batteries, […]

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Smart Food Storage!

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Smart Food Storage! Host: Katzcradul “The Homestead Honey Hour” Since all the Honeys of The Homestead Honey hour believe it’s important to formulate shows based on what our subscribers and listeners want, Katzcradul is devoting this upcoming show to the discussion of “Smarter Food Storage”, how to get the most: for your food storage dollar, … Continue reading Smart Food Storage!

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15 Preparedness Uses for Kiddie Pools

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Kiddie pools have multiple uses for the prepper! Check out our list. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comSummer is upon us and that means summer items are now available. As you have no doubt noticed, some items are only available during certain seasons, and if you miss the opportunity to get those items when you can, you are faced with either waiting until next year or finding an online retailer carrying the item.

This summer, consider adding several kiddie pools to your preparedness supplies. These pools are cheap and come in both rigid plastic and inflatable vinyl. Despite the myriad of colors and patterns of these pools, they can serve very important roles in your preparedness plan.

How many of these pools should you keep on hand? Not every type and size of pool is best suited for each of the uses below, though any would probably work if that was all you had. You will need to size the pool to the task for which it is best suited. After reading the 15 preparedness uses for kiddie pools below, you may find yourself wanting more than just a few of these valuable preparedness assets and in varying sizes.

1. Emergency Water Storage

Among the first things you should do after a disaster strikes is to fill up the bathtubs with water (assuming, of course, you are home and there are no other immediate needs). But, why stop there? If you are going to need water, fill up as many containers as possible.

Small kiddie pools can hold between 30 and 250 gallons of water, depending on the size and construction. Larger pools, like those designed for an entire family’s summer fun, can contain between 1000 and 5000 gallons. However, even a small pool holding only 50 gallons can provide enough drinking water for a family of five for 10 days. Three of these pools filled would be an entire month of drinking water.

If storing outside, cover them with a tarp or sheet of plastic to keep out debris and reduce loss to evaporation. No need to worry about treating this water, you can treat it before using it, depending on the use. In addition to drinking, this extra water gives you additional ability to flush toilets, put out fires, and water the garden.

You can avoid your water storage becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes by using Mosquito Dunks.

2. Rainwater Collection, Expedient Cistern

A backyard full of pools during a rainstorm can collect quite a bit of water. If you are looking at an extended period without a working municipal water system, or as a back up to your well water system, being able to replenish your water storage is like having the ability to make gold.

With a little bit of creative ingenuity and some tarps or plastic sheeting, you will be able to maximize the water collection that each pool collects. Like storing water from the tap, this water does not need to be treated until it is time to use it. Unless you are only using to water the garden or if water is extremely scarce, do not collect water from roof runoff, as this water will be highly contaminated, particularly from bird droppings.

Unfortunately, this is the point where I need to remind you to check your local laws about collecting rain water.

If you have the ability to collect water from a spring or running surface water, especially if it is an intermittent water source, you can use the pool for an expedient cistern. By running pipe from one pool to another, you can expand the amount of water stored, only limited by the number of pools and amount of pipe you have on hand.

3. Decontamination Station

This is an often overlooked use for these small pools, though it is an important one. There are two major scenarios where you will need a home decontamination station: pandemics and radioactive matter.

During a pandemic, you can decrease the risk of getting sick from people, who may have come in contact with the virus, by decontaminating them before they enter your home. Likewise, if any of your family is caught in the plume of a radiological dispersal device, they will need to be decontaminated when they get home. The radioactive particles, from dirty bombs or from an actual nuclear detonation, must be scrubbed from the body to stop the irradiation and to prevent inhalation or ingestion of these particles.

When you decontaminate, you need to control the water runoff, so it does not further contaminate people or other portions of your home. Use kiddie pools to collect this water by having the person stand in the middle of the pool as you decontaminate him or her. The contaminated water can then be treated or disposed.

Please note there is much more involved with decontamination procedures but it is beyond the scope of this article.

4. Mixing Bulk Foods

If you like to mix your bulk ingredients before you package them for long-term storage, you can speed up the process by mixing up a pool-sized batch. For example, if you prefer a blend of hard red winter wheat with a little bit of hard white wheat mixed in, you can mix up several buckets worth before sealing. Another example is buying your beans separately and crafting your own blend of mixed beans. Pre-mixing allows you to have what you need when you need it, instead of having to open several or many containers to derive your mix.

When we were setting up our Square Foot Garden beds, a kiddie pool would have been the perfect container for mixing our soil and amendments.

5. Mixing Cement

Speaking of mixes, a kiddie pool makes for an expedient cement mixer. Handy if you happen to have no electrical power, but need to do masonry repairs. This is commonly used in Arizona by landscapers when they have stonework to do, but don’t want to drag along the large mixer when all they need is a small batch. The big drawback to this is the pool is not good for much else once you are finished.

6. Raised Garden Bed

Once the canary in the coal mine keels over, you will probably be looking for quick ways to expand your garden. Using rigid plastic kiddie pools, you may be able to add a raised garden faster than you could work the soil for a new plot, particularly if you live in an area with poor soil or your new plot was formerly occupied by grass. Among other aspects, raised bed gardens are easier for controlling weeds, waterine, and for avoiding grasses sprouting from recently pulled up sod. These also allow you to grow food where there is no dirt.

7. Bathing, Shower and Washing Station

It’s the apocalypse, but does that mean you have to fight the zombie hordes stinking of B.O.? Of course not! Rig up your solar water heater to a shower head, tie up a privacy curtain around the pool, and step in. Ah!

Seriously, though, staying clean is important to staying healthy. Whether your rigged shower is inside or out, the kiddie pool will collect the water for other uses (toilets, fires, garden, and so on). Additionally, the wide pool prevents muddy splashes that occur when you try to shower standing on the ground.

What’s that? No solar water heater or solar powered water pressure? No problem. Heat some water up with your favorite low-tech method and have a bath, or at least a sponge bath.

Lacking a washtub, these small pools can also serve for laundry purposes. Three pools (soap wash, first rinse, second rinse) and some clothesline and you can face the undead in a clean pair of jeans and shirt.

8. Expedient Fish Pool

Without refrigeration, meat spoils rapidly. If you can capture fish from your local fishing spot and move them to your expedient fish pool, you’ll be able to keep them alive and fresher longer. You may even decide to start breeding them (see aquaponics below).

9. Expedient Hydroponics

Hydroponics is an amazing way to grow food without soil. Once into a SHTF scenario, you may be faced with having to grow food everywhere you have space. Expedient hydroponics systems will allow you to grow food where there is no soil.

10. Expedient Aquaponics

If you have the fish in one pool and the plants in another, you might as well connect them into an aquaponics system. The fish water helps fertilize the plants on the hydroponics side, which in turn cleans up the water for the fish. While using pools would not be the best vessel for any of these last three (fish pool, hydroponics, and aquaponics), it will allow you to get things going until you can find more suitable containers.

11. Crib or Baby Pen

Watching a toddler or crawling infant often means you are unable to attend other tasks. An inflatable pool with sides high enough and thick enough to prevent the child from crawling or falling out, and filled with the child’s favorite toys, allows you the ability to take care of other things. This can be quite advantageous when outside of your home, like when the family is doing some “emergency camping,” by preventing the child from tripping and getting hurt on the uneven and rough ground.

12. Staying Cool in Hot Weather

Even with all these other uses, the pool is still a great way to stay cool by using it as a pool. Without electricity for air conditioning, many people will suffer heat-related illnesses. However, a small pool in the shade can provide needed comfort and emergency treatment for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. When you are providing your own medical care, a pool of water can literally be a life saver.

And not only for people, but pets can also overheat. As long as the water isn’t frivolously wasted on the ground (possibly impossible with pets), it can be used for the big three (gardening, fire control, and toilet flushing).

13. Large Solar Still

If you live in an area having a lot of sunshine, you can use two pools to set up a large solar still. Place a small pool concentrically inside a larger pool. You will need to start with clean pools and attach clear plastic over them, so the clean water runs into the larger pool. To prevent having to open up the plastic and pause the distillation process, rig up some tubing for putting dirty water into the inner pool, and getting distilled water from the larger pool. This large solar still is another way you can reclaim water used for washing or making other water safe to drink.

14. Emergency Raft for Gear or Pets During Flood

Back in the mid 1990s, this author lost about half of his possessions in a 500-year flood. The three days of deluge-like rainfall caused the local river to swell in a matter of hours and people awoke to find themselves in the middle of a half-mile wide flooded river.

One of the items people needed were large containers that floated, so they could drag their pets and whatever possessions they could to safety. Small pools would have worked well for this. While they would not make a sea-worthy raft in any sense of the term, they do work well for expedient emergency rafts.

15. Indoor Pet Pooping Station

You have provided for emergency sanitation for you and your family, including toilet paper, buckets, bags, sanitizing and deodorizing chemicals. The pandemic arrives to your city and you seal you and your family into your home, ready to wait it out. Just then, your trusty biological security system, AKA dog, looks up at you and whines to go “out.” Whoops.

Cats are already trained to use a litter box, but what about man’s best friend? Sure, you could put out newspaper, but who wants to deal with that on the kitchen floor when you cannot leave your house? Kiddie pool to the rescue again! With a little forethought, you can set up the pool for a pet relief station. Whether it be newspaper, sand, or even some artificial grass, having a place for your dog to go is important.

It’s not advised to let the waste sit there, but putting the pooping station in the garage is far more convenient than decontaminating the dog every time they go outside. Combining a small pool with one of those “Diaper Genies” is only one way to control pet mess and odors.

Rigid Plastic or Inflatable Vinyl?

Kiddie pools come in either rigid plastic or inflatable vinyl and, of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It is likely you will want a few of each, depending on how you plan to use them.

Rigid pools are harder to store, but generally easier to put into use. They maintain their shape and they nest together, meaning you can stack them like measuring cups, allowing you to store a large number of them in the same footprint that one pool takes. They are less susceptible to damage, but more difficult to repair once a hole or crack appears.

Inflatable pools are easier to store, as you can keep them in their small boxes until needed, and refold when finished. This storage convenience comes at a price, as they require more resources to put into use. Unless it is a very small inflatable pool, you will need an air pump. Manual pumps will work, but electrical pumps are the quickest, although, it is likely the power grid will be down when you need to employ them. There are battery-operated air pumps, though without a way to recharge them, using them to inflate a pool may not be the best use for your batteries.

Inflatable pools are also more prone to puncture. These can be patched with a vinyl patch kit, and you will need to re-inflate them once the repair is complete. Many inflatable pools have separate chambers, or rings, which will help prevent a total loss if using to store water.

There are also larger pools, the above ground family sized pools, that have a plastic frame and do not require inflating. This material is less prone to puncture, but these types of pools are large and may be more difficult to set up and take down. However, if you had warning of a pending disaster, these would be space-efficient for water storage.

Though it’s clear they have been an overlooked preparedness item, given the many ways you can use kiddie pools, be sure to stock up on these the next time you head to your local big box store.


Food Storage and Freeze drying!

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Food Storage and Freeze drying! Ray Becker “The Ray Becker Show” Audio player provided! On this show, I have a guest with me: Stephanie from Harvest Right. We are going to cover Freeze Drying food for long term storage. Along with freeze drying, I will address other methods of storing your food. Long term storage … Continue reading Food Storage and Freeze drying!

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What You Should Look for When Shopping for Food Storage

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What You Should Look for When Shopping for Food Storage Being prepared is big business and it is easy for the newbie to get completely overwhelmed. Each company claims they are the best value for your dollar, or the best priced, or the highest nutritional value; what about the things that are best for your family? Shopping …

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Psychological Preparedness and Shopping Tactics!

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Psychological Preparedness and Shopping Tactics Host: Gary & GGsBoo “The Road Less Traveled” Welcome to this outing on “The Road Less Traveled.” On this excursion we’ll focus on some of the intricacies of Prepping from our perspectives with an emphasis on psychological preparedness being quite important to our overall efforts. Learning exactly who and what … Continue reading Psychological Preparedness and Shopping Tactics!

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The 8 Seeds That Can Store At Least 5 Years

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The 8 Seeds That Can Store At Least 5 Years

Do you have a seed stash tucked away? I certainly do. It’s rare that I use up all the seeds I buy in any given year. When I have some left over, I put them away for next year’s garden.

It just seems so wasteful to throw seeds out, doesn’t it? And, of course, if you harvest and save your own seeds from year to year, then you definitely have a stash, too.

Whether your own stash was purchased or saved from a previous harvest, those seeds won’t be viable forever. The longevity of seeds depends both on which cultivars they are and how they’re stored. Some seeds — including leeks, onions, parsley and parsnips — will last a year at best. Others will remain viable up to five years after they were harvested, and possibly even longer if they’re stored in the right conditions.

Best Method of Seed Storage

Seeds are best stored in cool, dry locations. A general guideline is to keep the combined temperature and humidity level under 100. As an example, the ideal temperature for seed storage is about 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit, which would allow for a maximum humidity level of about 50 percent. To keep your seeds dry, store them in an airtight container. Glass jars with rubber seals on their lids, like baby food or home canning jars, work best. If you’re concerned about moisture within the jar, you can add in a desiccant such as rice.

Keeping the seeds in the fridge or freezer is an excellent way to maintain perfect storage conditions. Keep in mind that frost-free fridges and freezers work by drawing out moisture, and can seriously dry out seeds. However, as long as your seeds are in an appropriate container, they shouldn’t become damaged.

Need Non-GMO Seeds? Get The Best Deals Here!

Freezing seeds properly can exponentially prolong their longevity. After all, seed banks like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault count on freezing to keep their seeds viable for centuries. The home gardener shouldn’t expect her own seeds to last quite as long in a home freezer, given the strict scientific protocols and optimal conditions of the Global Seed Vault. Still, frozen seeds should remain viable longer than seeds stored at room temperature.

8 Seeds That Easily Store for 5 Years

The 8 Seeds That Can Store At Least 5 Years

Image source: Pixabay.com

While storage methods have a big impact on seed longevity, the type of cultivar also makes a difference. Some of the longest-lasting seeds are members of the cabbage family (Brassicaceae), but there are eight different types of vegetable seeds that will remain viable for about five years, even if not frozen:

  1. Broccoli
  2. Cabbage
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Cucumber
  5. Muskmelons
  6. Spinach
  7. Radishes
  8. Lettuce

Viable and Vigorous Seeds for Healthy Plants

For the healthiest and best-producing plants, you need viable, vigorous seeds. Viability is basically the rate at which seeds sprout or germinate. If, in a sample of 10 seeds of the same cultivar, eight sprout, the germination rate is 80 percent, which is highly viable. If, however, only two or three seeds in that sample sprout, the germination rate is 20-30 percent, and the viability is low.

In addition to viability, the vigor of seeds is an important consideration. Viability is generally measured under optimal conditions. But vigor measures how well sprouted seeds perform under less-than-optimal conditions (e.g., outside in the garden). Seeds need to be strong and healthy to flourish in variable weather conditions and in soil that may be less than ideal.

As seeds age, they decrease both in viability and vigor. They may lose their ability to sprout at all, and those that do sprout may just not have the strength to create a healthy plant. It’s easy to test a seed’s viability, but somewhat more difficult for the home gardener to determine a seed’s vigor. However, by keeping track of how long your seeds have been stored, you can use the list above to determine how well your seeds are likely to perform without bothering with tests.

If you’ve had any of the listed seeds stored for five years already, it would be best to get those planted this year, for healthy plants and a bountiful harvest.

What’s your personal record for planting seeds that have been stored a long time? Share your thoughts in the section below:

New stuff from Repackbox.com

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I got a postcard in the mail the other day (who sends real mail these days??) from repackbox.com telling me that they’ve expanded their product line to include boxes for more calibers of ammo.

What is repackbox.com? Well, they sell a few useful cardboard products that have appeal to those of us who keep ammo onhand. What I’ve been getting from them are cardboard boxes to store ammo in.

Every so often I find deals on ‘bulk’ ammo. Bulk ammo is just that – bulk. You buy a thousand rounds of ammo you dont get a nice cardboard box with fifty little boxes of 20 rounds each. Nope, you get a big ol’ polybag or box filled with loose cartridges. 8290915400329fc2a66d65b6f89dfeaf (1aa)Great savings, but not exactly easy to store. When the zombies are massing at the barricades the last thing you want to be doing is counting ammo into little ziploc baggies and handing them to your buddies. Repackbox gives you small cardboard boxes, appropriately sized to a particular cartridge, so you can have your ammo organized, neat, and ready for the apocalypse. Case in point: a guy came into the shop and sold me a .50 can full of loose 7.62×39 ammo. I’m not just sticking a can of a thousand loose rounds on the shelf…grabbed a stack of 7.62×39 boxes and a little while later everything was neat, organized, and ready for the apocalypse.

The advantage? Plastic ammo boxes are great, but they aren’t cheap. The cardboard boxes are cheap enough that you can hand out ammo to your buddies at the range or at the rally point and not feel like you’re throwing away money. Also, inexpensive storage boxes are hard to find for some calibers. Repackbox just came out with boxes in a buncha new calibers inc. .30-06, .303 brit., 7.62x54R (better than those string-n-paper bundles you get outta the spam can), and, of interest to me, .30-30.

Although I don’t talk about it much, I like the .30-30. My like for it stems from the fact that after the ubiquitous .22 rifle, the .30-30 carbine is probably the most common rifle in many parts of the country (although the SKS may have supplanted that for a while…but since the days of the cheap Chinese SKS are long behind us….) I rather like the .30-30 in an unltralight single shot Contender carbine, but there are still several million Winchester and Marlin rifles out there. (And Savages and other brands as well.) So…I stock a decent amount of .30-30 and now have a convenient way to package it for distribution and storage.

I’m also a huge fan of he old ‘military style; 50-round ammo boxes. Repackbox makes these for .45 ACP as well as other calibers. Extremely handy.

Since I have a Dillon 1050RL sitting on the bench, I can whip out a lot of ammo in a couple hours. There is very little more satisfying than watching the boxes of ammo stack up like bricks as I package the ammo for storage.

Check ’em out.


Spring Cleaning for Preppers

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Whether you are just getting started to prepare for emergencies or a veteran prepper, you need to declutter in order to make room for emergency supplies. Why you should de-clutter To motivate you, think of all the advantages you gain by de-cluttering now: Sell unwanted but usable items and get extra money for your emergency fund or for preparedness supplies.  Even kids get excited about getting rid of unwanted books and toys if […]

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Best Animals to Hunt During SHTF

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Best Animals to Hunt During SHTF Host: Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps “ Audio in player below! As with most topics we have a lot of what if’s? Food storage with preppers is a big deal and we think we have enough. We prepare for so long the amount we think we’ll need, but alas … Continue reading Best Animals to Hunt During SHTF

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Love those Tesla-lovers

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Tesla-powered pool

Jason Hughes is a happy hacker – but not of computers – he is known for leaking Tesla’s plans ahead of the company’s actual announcements, and now he has revealed photos of his own Tesla battery-powered compound in North Carolina. The 4,500 square-foot home has 102 commercial-grade solar panels to capture energy from the sun which then gets stored into a home battery storage unit composed of battery modules ripped from two Tesla Model S 85 kWh packs.

The 44.4 kW home solar system produces enough energy to not only power the entire home and all of its electrical appliances, but also provides enough energy to charge a pair of his and hers Model S each day. The end result is an elaborate home-engineered system that took roughly a year to design and build, and has allowed Hughes and his family to remain 99% self-sufficient for the past two years.

The battery banks used for storing solar energy are derived from*battery packs found from a salvaged Model S. Hughes dismantled the packs to create a stacked array of battery modules. A total of 36 modules are used in the home set up which equates to 2.25x Model S 85 kWh battery packs.

Here’s a video of Hughes performing a teardown of one of the Model S battery packs.



Hughes says a large portion of the overall expenditure went to the $40k cost in Tesla batteries. He admits that the project likely doesn’t make sense from a financial perspective, but it’s important to understand that the value of his project goes beyond what a cost benefit analysis may yield.

Beyond being able to show that living solely off of sustainable energy is possible, the main inspiration behind his yearlong project was his father who taught him at a young age of 9 how to build a small off-grid solar system that produced enough energy to power his bedroom light, a small TV and a PC. That became the catalyst to what would become a lifelong dream to design an off-grid system capable of powering an entire house, along with electric vehicles.


36 modules from 2.25x Tesla 85kWh packs
191.25 kWh (DC side)
~4,200 Ah
43.2V nominal @ 3.6V per cell
15,984 cells (!)
Inverters: 8x Outback Radian GS8048A
240VAC @ 60Hz w/neutral
64kW continuous AC output
30 minute surge: 72kW; 5 second surge: 96kW; 100ms surge: 135.76kW
Grid->Battery Charging Capacity: 57kW
Expected AC output from pack after safe SoC window and efficiency considerations: ~160 kWh usable AC power
PV: 102 Sunpower Commercial Panels @ 435W (20% efficiency) for 44,370 Watts DC
Split into 17 sets of 6 panels (3 parallel of 2 in series)
17 individual MPPT charge controllers (Midnite Solar Classic 200)

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Preppers Food Storage List

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Preppers Food Storage List There are so many food storage articles on the net. The best part is that most of them offer some great information. This article is one of the more comprehensive articles out there. It features about 30 food items and how to incorporate them into your food storage plan. It is …

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Food Storage with Katzcradul and Peggy Layton!

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Food Storage with Katzcradul and Peggy Layton! Host: Katzcradul “The Homestead Honey Hour” Can you think of anyone better to talk to about long-term food storage than someone who’s a home economist and licensed nutritionist, has written a series of books on the subject, and has raised seven children utilizing her food storage? She’s out … Continue reading Food Storage with Katzcradul and Peggy Layton!

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Why You May Need To Stockpile Supplements For SHTF

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Why You Need To Stockpile Supplements For SHTF I am not a doctor or a medical professional this is for information purposes only. Please consult with a medical professional if you have any questions or you start to take any supplements. Even in healthy people, multivitamins and other supplements may help to prevent vitamin and …

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How To Make Cheeseburger Beef Jerky

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How To Make Cheeseburger Beef Jerky You read the title right! How to make cheeseburger beef jerky. I thought I saw just about every jerky there was… that’s why I love doing this, I learn something new everyday. Jerky is tasty and comes in all variety of flavors from spicy to sweet. I was trying …

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6 Different Online Resources to Buy Bulk Survival Gear

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If you really want to stock up on survival gear, then sometimes you want to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk not only allows you to purchase the right amount of equipment and supplies, but will let you do so at a discount. Rather than purchasing a large quantity of items from a typical store, you can purchase from wholesale companies that provide a discount since you are buying in bulk. Below are some great places that you can purchase plenty of survival gear online, and make sure you are ready for any disasters.

DollarDays DollarDays is one of the largest wholesalers in the country, offering a wide range of products. While not focusing solely on survival gear, they nonetheless have plenty to offer when it comes to this department. On their website you’ll find essential gear such as waterproof matches, Mylar blankets, and medical supplies. While the options available are not as great as some other locations, if you need the basics, this is a great place to start.

Overstock – Another large company that offers more than just survival gear, Overstock is one of the most popular places to buy wholesale products. Overstock offers everything from medical supplies to camping gear to sanitation equipment to emergency power and more. All of this comes at the low prices you’d expect to get from any wholesaler. Overstock even offers free shipping to the Continental U.S for any orders over $45.00, allowing you to save a little bit more money.

Best Glide Aviation Survival Equipment – Sometimes you need more specific survival gear. If you need supplies for when you are out in the wilderness, or for anything to do with aviation, then you’ll want a wholesaler that can meet those needs. Best Glide ASE offers a wide range of products tailored to fit this exact group of people. On their website you will find supplies such as parachute cords, tracker buttons, and pre-made survival kits designed for the wilderness. If some of the larger wholesale chains do not have what you’re looking for, check out this one.

Bite The Bullet – For those of you who want a very specific product – namely, ammo – then you’ll want to buy right from the manufacturer. With companies like Bite The Bullet you can buy bulk ammo online, and have it delivered directly to your door. Ammo is typically used when loading up your survival gear, and if you think you’ll need a lot of it, you’re better off buying in bulk to save yourself some money. This website makes that easy, all without having to leave your home.

DHgate – Now, when purchasing survival gear, you’re probably not looking to sacrifice quality over cost. However, for those of you that want to spend the least amount of money, you can look to a site called DHgate. DHgate sells products directly from Chinese manufacturers and a very low cost. We can’t speak to the quality of every product on this website, but if you really want to save money, then it is worth taking a look at. Just be sure you do some research into what you are buying, and don’t purchase anything questionable if your life may depend on it some day.

Living Rational – Lastly, we have a wholesaler for those of you that are representing companies, schools or other organizations. If, as a part of your emergency preparedness, you need to order survival gear in bulk, this is the site for you. Living Rational offers survival kits for people of all ages and sizes, along with equipment for disasters such as floods or earthquakes. You’ll need to contact the company in order to get a quote on purchasing wholesale, but all the information you need is right on their website. Plenty Of Options To Buy In Bulk

When it comes to purchasing survival gear in bulk, you have a lot of options. No matter what kind of equipment you are looking to buy in bulk, there is a good chance that one of the above websites will have it for you. If not, there are plenty of other companies and websites out there, with the above list only being a small sample.

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Expiration Date Cheat Sheet: The Best Time to Replace Just About Everything

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Expiration Date Cheat Sheet: The Best Time to Replace Just About Everything How long can you rely on these everyday household goods? Stockpiling food, tools and other resources is a futile act if you don’t pay close attention to the potential longevity – or otherwise – of your goods. When times are good, we don’t …

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Top 10 Food Storage Myths

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food storage myths

The internet is full of websites that give information on survival topics, including food storage. There are dozens and dozens of books that will teach you “the right way” to store food and YouTube videos galore. Most contain valid, trustworthy information, but mixed in with that are a number of food storage myths that many people accept without question.

Here are 10 that I take issue with, and I explain why.

By the way, following Myth #10 are 2 short videos that review these myths.

Myth #1:  You should stock up on lots of wheat.

When I was researching foods typically eaten during the Great Depression, I noticed that many of them included sandwiches of every variety. So it makes sense to stock up on wheat, which, when ground, becomes flour, the main ingredient to every bread recipe.

There are a couple of problems with the focus on wheat in virtually all food storage plans, however. First, since the time of the Great Depression millions of people now have various health issues when they consume wheat. From causing gluten intolerance to celiac disease our hybridized wheat is a whole ‘nother animal that our great-grandparents never consumed.

The second issue is that wheat isn’t the simplest food to prepare, unless you simply cook the wheat berries in water and eat them as a hot cereal or add them to other dishes. In order to make a loaf of bread, you have to grind the wheat, which requires the purchase of at least one grain mill. Electric mills are much easier to use and, within just seconds, you have freshly ground flour. However, you’ll probably want to add a hand-crank mill to have on hand for power outages. All together, 2 mills will end up costing a pretty penny, depending on the brands you purchase.

Then there’s the process of making the bread itself, which is time consuming.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t store wheat, and, in fact, I have several hundred pounds of it myself. The emphasis on wheat as a major component in food storage is what I have a problem with. In retrospect, I wish I had purchased far more rice and less wheat. Rice is incredibly simple to prepare and is very versatile. It, too, has a very long shelf life.

Myth #2: Beans last forever.

While it’s true that beans have a long shelf life, they have been known to become virtually inedible over time. Old-timers have reported using every cooking method imaginable in order to soften the beans. A pressure cooker is one option but, again, some have told me that doesn’t even work!

Another option is to grind the beans and add the powdered beans to various recipes. They will still contain some nutrients and fiber.

Over the years, I’ve stocked up on cans of beans — beans of all kinds. They retain their nutrients in the canning process and are already cooked, so there’s no need to soak, boil, pressure cook, etc. You can always home can dried beans, and if you have beans that have been around for more than 10 years or so, canning them is a super simple process and insures they won’t become inedible.

Myth #3: If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat it!

Have you ever fallen in love with a recipe that was easy to make, inexpensive, and your family loved it? You probably thought you’d finally found The Dream Recipe. And then you made it a second time, then a third, then a fourth. About the 8th or 9th time, however, you may have discovered that you had developed a mild form of food fatigue. Suddenly, it didn’t taste all that great and your family wasn’t giving it rave reviews anymore.

When it comes to food storage, don’t assume that someone will eat a certain item they currently hate, just because they’re hungry. If you stock up on dozens of #10 cans of Turkey Tetrazzini, sooner or later the family will revolt, no matter how hungry they are.

Myth #4. All I need is lots and lots of canned food.

There’s nothing wrong with canned food. In fact, that’s how I got started with food storage. However, canned food has its limitations. A can of ravioli is a can of ravioli. You can’t exactly transform it into a completely different dish. As well, canned food may have additives that you don’t care to eat and, in the case of my own kids, tastes change over time. I had to eventually give away the last few cans of ravioli and Spaghetti-O’s because my kids suddenly didn’t like them anymore.

Be sure to rotate whatever canned food you have, since age takes a toll on all foods, but, as I’ve discovered, on certain canned items in particular. My experience with old canned tuna hasn’t been all that positive, and certain high-acid foods, such as canned tomato products, are known to have issues with can corrosion. Double check the seams of canned food and look for any sign of bulging, leaks, or rust.

Lightly rusted cans, meaning you can rub the rust off with a cloth or your fingertip, are safe to continue storing. However, when a can is badly rusted, there’s a very good chance that the rust has corroded the can, allowing bacteria to enter. Those cans should be thrown away.

Worried about the “expiration” date on canned food? Well, those dates are set by the food production company and don’t have any bearing on how the food will taste, its nutrients, or safety after that date. If the food was canned correctly and you’ve been storing it in a dry and cool location, theoretically, the food will be safe to consume for years after that stamped date.

Myth #5: I can store my food anywhere that I have extra space.

Yikes! Not if you want to extend its shelf life beyond just a few months! Know the enemies of food storage and do your best to store food in the best conditions possible.

TIP: Learn more about the enemies of food storage: heat, humidity, light, oxygen, pests, and time.

I emphasize home organization and decluttering on this blog, mainly because it frees up space that is currently occupied by things you don’t need or use. Start decluttering and then storing your food in places that are cool, dark, and dry.

Myth #6: My food will last X-number of years because that’s what the food storage company said.

I have purchased a lot of food from very reputable companies over the years: Augason Farms, Thrive Life, Honeyville, and Emergency Essentials. They all do a great job of processing food for storage and then packaging it in containers that will help prolong its shelf life.

However, once the food gets to your house, only you are in control of how that food is stored. Yes, under proper conditions, food can easily have a shelf life of 20 years or more, but when it’s stored in heat, fluctuating temperatures, and isn’t protected from light, oxygen, and pests, and never rotated, it will deteriorate quickly.

NOTE: When food is old, it doesn’t become poisonous or evaporate in its container. Rather, it loses nutrients, flavor, texture, and color. In a word, it becomes unappetizing.

Myth #7: Just-add-hot-water meals are all I need.

There are many companies who make and sell only add-hot-water meals. In general, I’m not a big fan of these. They contain numerous additives that I don’t care for, in some cases the flavors and textures and truly awful, but the main reason why I don’t personally store a lot of these meals is because they get boring.

Try eating pre-made chicken teriyaki every day for 2 weeks, and you’ll see what I mean. Some people don’t require a lot of variety in their food, but most of us tire quickly when we eat the same things over and over.

These meals have a couple of advantages, though. They are lightweight and come in handy during evacuation time and power outages. If you can boil a couple of cups of water over a rocket stove, propane grill, or some other cooking device, then you’ll have a meal in a few minutes.

TIP: Store a few days worth of just-add-water meals with your emergency kits and be ready to grab them for a quick emergency evacuation. Be sure to also pack a spoon or fork for each person and a metal pot for meals that require cooking over a heat source.

However, for a well-balanced food storage pantry, stock up on individual ingredients and fewer just-add-hot-water meals.

Myth #8: I can stock up on a year’s worth and won’t need to worry about food anymore.

That is probably the fantasy of many a prepper. Buy the food, stash it away, and don’t give it a thought until the S hits the fan. There’s a big problem with that plan, however. When everything does hit the fan and it’s just you and all that food:

  • Will you know how to prepare it?
  • Will you have the proper supplies and tools to prepare the food?
  • Did you store enough extra water to rehydrate all those cans of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?
  • Do you have recipes you’re familiar with, that your family enjoys, and that use whatever you’ve purchased?
  • What if there’s an ingredient a family member is allergic to?
  • Does everyone even like what you’ve purchased?
  • Have any of the containers been damaged? How do you know if you haven’t inspected them and checked them occasionally for bulges and/or pest damage?

If you’ve purchased a pre-packaged food storage supply, the contents of that package were determined by just a small handful of people who do not know your family, your health issues, or other pertinent details. These packages aren’t a bad thing to have on hand. Just don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.

Myth #9: Freeze dried foods are too expensive.

Yes, there is a bit of sticker shock initially when you begin to shop online at sites like Thrive Life, Augason Farms, and Emergency Essentials. If you’ve been used to paying a few dollars for a block of cheddar cheese and then see a price of $35 for a can of freeze-dried cheddar, it can be alarming.

However, take a look at how many servings are in each container and consider how much it would cost to either grow or purchase that same food item and preserve it in one way or another, on your own.

The 3 companies I mentioned all have monthly specials on their food and other survival supplies — that’s how I ended up with 2 cases of granola from Emergency Essentials!

Myth #10: This expert’s food storage plan will fit my family.

The very best food storage plan is the one that you have customized yourself. By all means, use advice given by a number of experts. Take a look at online food calculators, but when it’s time to make purchases, buy what suits your family best. What one person thinks is ideal for food storage may leave your kids retching.

Lots of resources to help you with your food storage pantry

Want this info on video? Here you go!

Food Storage Myths, Part 1: Myths 1-5

Food Storage Myths, Part 2: Myths 6-10

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 food storage myths

Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables

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Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables If you grow your own garden every year and always wondered how to save the seeds, this is your article. If you are a prepper, this article will show you how to collect and store the seeds from common vegetables. It is vital that we save the seeds …

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How To Install a Truck Bed Storage System

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How To Install a Truck Bed Storage System If you’re a homesteader, you are probably used to having plenty of fix-it or build-it projects around the property.  Hauling your tools and supplies back and forth can be a major pain, and adds a lot of time to any task.  Tool boxes can only hold so …

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Stockpiling Water: How To Ensure You Never Run Out

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 Trump & Obamacare: What Should Replace It?

Not long ago in America, the conventional wisdom was that fresh drinking water always would be available. But with recent water crises in West Virginia and then Flint, Mich. – as well as droughts throughout the country – that no longer is the case.

And what if there is a long-term blackout or a terrorist attack that impacts the water supply?

Now, more than ever, it’s essential to stockpile water for your survival. That’s the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as we talk to Daisy Luther, a survival expert and the author of The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource.

She tells us everything we need to know about storing water long-term, including:

  • How much water the average person should store.
  • What she considers the best way to store water.
  • Which type of plastic she recommends to stockpile water.
  • How long water will last in storage and remain potable.

Finally, Daisy tells us the cheapest ways to store water. We also discuss water filters.

This week’s show could change the way you stockpile – for the better. Don’t miss it!

Data Storage for SHTF Emergency Bug Out

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Data Storage for SHTF Emergency Bug Out Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” Audio in player below! The thought of bugging out is a real threat. Have you thought of the data you have and how you would store it, take it with you or use it on the road? The world today offers us many … Continue reading Data Storage for SHTF Emergency Bug Out

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WATER IS LIFE: Catchment, Purification & Storage

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WATER IS LIFE: Catchment, Purification & Storage Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” Audio in player below! On this episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Author Bobby Akart discusses the importance of water in your preparedness plans. The Prepper Rule of Three’s postulates that one can only live three minutes without air, three hours without … Continue reading WATER IS LIFE: Catchment, Purification & Storage

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Harvest Time the right time to Preserve!

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Harvest Time the right time to Preserve! Bob Hawkins “The APN Report” Listen in player below! Now that we’ve reached the Fall season, we’ve reached the time to harvest & preserve foods for the coming winter… or at least that’s what people have done from the dawn of time. Today, normal folk now count on … Continue reading Harvest Time the right time to Preserve!

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37 Creative Storage Solutions to Organize All Your Food & Supplies

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37 Creative Storage Solutions to Organize All Your Food & Supplies (FB image uploaded, but not pin) One challenge we all seem to face is how best to store our stuff. Being prepared means having a large stock of necessities (and some luxuries) on hand. It also means you need to figure out how to …

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The Deep Sleepers

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Being a survivalist, you tend to ‘go long’ on stuff…a hundred rolls of TP at a time, canned goods by the case, socks by the dozen, etc. On a long enough timeline, all this stuff will get used. Some sooner than others. For example, the canned goods will probably get used up within a year or two, but some things, like the #10 cans of freezedrieds, are meant to never be used. They are a ‘only in case of apocalypse’ sort of thing. Some other items, like the bulk AR mags I bought a few weeks ago, aren’t meant to be used but rather tucked away safely for, probably, at least a decade or two.

Items that are meant to be put into long, long, long-term storage are referred to around these parts as ‘Deep Sleepers’. They are items that are not intended to be used anytime within the foreseeable future. And, honestly, probably not even after that.

Case in point, the recent stash of Magpul AR mags. I have no intention of using them. I have enough mags on hand to handle my needs for quite some time. So, this recent batch of Magpuls are Deep Sleepers. They are there as a ward against a new ban, in case the next civil war breaks out, or some other Very Bad Thing happens.

First thing we do is stuff them away into a clean, solid, ammo can with good seals. They’re arranged carefully and sealed up in the ammo can. Once the can is closed up, I put a couple loops of poly strapping around it. This serves two purposes – first, it makes sure the lid stays closed. Second, it keeps me from sneaking a mag or two out of there when I think “Ah, I’ll just take a couple from the stash and put them back later.” (Trust me…you are your own worst looter.) Once that can is sealed up it gets marked up with the contents and quantity on it..preferably on each side and top so I can see at a glance whats in it. After that, I write the contents on a ‘key tag’ and wire it to the bail on the ammo can. After that, the can gets tucked way back in storage and…byebye, baby…see you in twenty years. Once that’s done, the records (I use Evernote and Excel) are updated. In Evernote, this is tagged as “magazines”,”Deep Sleeper”, “Storage”, “AR”, and “MagPul”. I also make a note that this is an item that does not need to be periodically inspected.

20161120_110025That’s it. Right now, as I think about it, Deep Sleepers include stashes of magazines, clothes, freezedrieds, and a few other things. But, most importantly, I know what I have, how much of it I have, where I have it, and how well it is stored. Peace of mind.

6 Ways to Stack Your Firewood

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6 Ways to Stack Your Firewood Having wood stockpiled is a must. It will heat your house if the power goes out. Cook your food, and bring you some relief if SHTF. Now, stacking the wood…. That’s a whole different kettle of fish! I have a wood pile in my back yard and I will be …

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DVD: The Quick Wholesome Foods

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See larger image The Quick Wholesome Foods DVD with 28 page Recipe Booklet shows you how to make delicious heart healthy meals from wheat, grains, beans and more using your food storage. A complete HOW-TO&; Read More …

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How To Store Gas And Diesel For The Long-Term

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How To Store Gas And Diesel For The Long-Term Everyone knows that having food and water storage is crucial for your SHTF plan, but gas storage is of almost equal importance. Until SHTF happens we will have no idea how much we rely on gas. Seriously, you may say to your self now, nah, I’ll …

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Can Prepping & Minimalism Co-Exist? 6 Tips to Make It So!

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prepping-vs-minimalismLast year we added a third child to our 2-bedroom, 800-ish square foot house. Once she started moving around, it felt like our space shrank dramatically. Around the same time, my parents downsized, and I inherited several pieces of family heirloom furniture. At heart, I’m a minimalist, and between these factors, my minimalist side rebelled. I wanted to get rid of everything we owned!

Among other minimalist advice, I familiarized myself with Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. Her ideas are mainly to de-clutter or sort by category, rather than the traditional advice of doing a room or a closet. For example, do all your books at once. She’s also known for getting people to ask if any given item “sparks joy” or makes you happy, or if it detracts from your life because you’re constantly tripping over it (my paraphrase).

NOTE: Get Survival Mom’s free ebook, “Declutter & Organize Your Living Space.”

This may all be very good advice, but along with being a minimalist, I’m also a prepepr. I’m determined to be prepared for everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios, using this handbook as a guide. With the addition of a child and furniture to my household, my prepper self was thinking about the future–both the bigger political and economic picture and our own family’s financial security. There was a good deal of “stuff” that I felt we needed to keep if we were to be prepared for any number of crises, but how could I continue with my commitment to minimalism?

Can prepping & minimalism co-exist?

There are certainly lots of articles out there about decluttering in general, and plenty about finding creative storage for your preps. But what do you decide to keep and store in the first place? For myself, I came up with 6 criteria I used to evaluate what to keep on hand to satisfy the prepper side of me and what to eliminate to keep my minimalist side sane.

Identify your big categories

From previous conversations, I knew that our main prepper categories as a family were generally: Food & Water, Education, Clothes/Warmth/Shelter, Security, Health (including mental/spiritual), and Communication. Whatever I decided to keep should generally fall into one of these categories.

Everything Accessible

In the middle of the exploring toddler and the inherited furniture, we had an incident in which one of the kids got injured while I wasn’t home, and my husband couldn’t find the right box of first aid supplies. We had absolutely everything we needed for the situation, but he had to take all the kids (including the injured one) to the drugstore to buy it all again because he didn’t know where I had stored it. This was a significant learning moment for me, because being prepared and having all the right “stuff” doesn’t matter at all if you can’t find it or get to it when you need it! So one of my goals was to make everything as visible and accessible as possible.

Double duty items

Of course you also want to be familiar with all your tools and equipment before the SHTF. One way to do this is to incorporate as much as you can into your daily life. For example, your cast iron pans can be used now on the stovetop or over a campfire in the zombie apocalypse. And once you’re using those on a regular basis, perhaps you can part with some of your other cookware, freeing up more kitchen space.

Space vs. Value

Throughout this process, I was always asking: does the value of this item justify the space it requires? If not, the item went in the give-away box. One of the tactics I used was to incorporate practical items into my decorating. For example, I mixed lanterns with my prized antique books on the shelves. They fit together perfectly!

Meeting needs, not wants

When evaluating my space, I had to embrace the hard truth that I just wouldn’t be able to keep everything I wanted. Once I accepted that, though, it was easier to make decisions based on my other criteria. For example, it was important to keep books that are reference material, or educational, and less important to keep contemporary fiction. Of course, entertainment and distraction is important in times of stress, so I kept plenty of fiction, too, but evaluated it in terms of quality and our family’s interests. So while I evaluated each reference book (and got rid of a few!), I prioritized those over fiction where space was limited.

Very limited hide-away storage

None of your storage does any good if it’s hidden away and you forget about it. For me, keeping lists was too much hassle for our current schedules, so really limiting unseen storage was my priority. Now I can tell you exactly what I have stored in the far corners of my basement today, and I can count it on one hand!

We have a few tubs of sentimental items and photo albums. There’s a set of collector drinking glasses from my grandma that I cannot safely display in our current space, but definitely want to keep. Our file boxes are clearly labeled by year and can be sorted/shredded as they hit their “keep until” dates. There are 5 pieces of the furniture that I could not incorporate into this space, but are certainly worth keeping in hopes of a larger home someday. And our Christmas decorations (which are definitely minimalist!).

My results, so far

Three months into our newly decluttered–but still prepared–home, here are a few observations:

It’s been easier to identify needs and priorities. We all have limited resources, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to get next. Once you know what you do have, you can easily see what you don’t have and prioritize these needs. For me, one of the items that wasn’t on any wish list, but that jumped out at me as a need was a small household tool kit, which I now have.

My choices are now more obvious. Once you identify your needs, you still have to make a choice about how to fill it. For example, a wheat grinder was on my list. Typing “wheat grinder” into Amazon gave me almost 500 results! But now that I had decluttered the kitchen and kept my Kitchen Aid mixer, my choices for our space and needs seemed obvious: a Kitchen Aid attachment, or the Vittorio Deluxe Manual grinder. Then it was just a matter of evaluating only 2 choices, and making a decision.

I have room for new items. Since I earned my Ham radio license earlier this year, my radio equipment has been cluttering the top of my desk, which was messy to look at and probably not the safest for the radio. After I decluttered, though, I suddenly found I had an entire drawer free just for ham radio equipment.

I have more time and less stress. As someone who reads between the lines of the evening news, there’s enough to worry about already. Reducing our clothes and kitchen items has made a dramatic improvement in maintaining the household. Our laundry and dishes are noticeably less! And now I can spend my newly found free time on developing skills and relationships.

How do you make the most of your space and still stay organized?


How long Will Your Water Storage Last?

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How long Will Your Water Storage Last? How much water do you think you use on a daily basis? Depending on your personal hygiene preferences:  5 gallons? 10 gallons? 20 gallons? According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the average American uses 80 – 100 gallons of water per day! In fact, over 410 billion gallons …

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PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage

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PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” Audio in player below! On this week’s episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Author Bobby Akart continues his discussion about stocking your Prepper Pantry. Last week, the program focused on growing your own food and heirloom seeds.  This week, we’ll focus on food storage … Continue reading PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage

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52 Week Food Storage Plan

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52 Week Food Storage Plan This is the mother load of food storage articles, I spend a few days looking for a great article on food stockpiling plans and I think I have found the best there is. Food will be in short supply if an emergency hits. People often think they will be OK …

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Easy DIY Pallet Shelving

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Easy DIY Pallet Shelving One thing that people never seem to have enough of is shelf space. While store-bought units are generally flimsy or expensive, inexpensive strong high-capacity shelving can be built quite easily from common, cheap (often free) wood pallets. One can often obtain many pallets of the same dimensions just by offering to …

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Squash 101: Tricks To Keep Your Harvest Stored For MONTHS

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Squash 101: Tricks To Help Your Harvest Last Months

Image source: Pixabay.com


Squash is easy to grow, and the rambunctious vines, huge leaves and colorful blooms add beauty to the late summer garden. However, there’s a distinct difference between summer and winter squash.

Unlike zucchini and other types of summer squash that are harvested in summer when the fruit is immature and the rind is tender, winter squash, including acorn, butternut, hubbard, spaghetti, delicata and pumpkin, are ready to pick in fall when the fruit is mature and the rind is hard.

Most types of winter squash store beautifully with proper preparation, and the flavor is enhanced by the concentration of natural sugars in the fruit. However, storage time varies. Hubbard squash stores well and lasts at least five or six months, while buttercup squash and pumpkins maintain quality for two to three months. Spaghetti squash should be used in four or five weeks.

Acorn squash, which are thin-skilled, should be used fairly soon because they last only about a month. They require no curing period; in fact, curing will actually shorten the storage life of acorn squash.

Get Started

Harvesting, curing and storing winter squash is simple. Here’s how:

Pick winter squash when the vines begin to die down in late summer or autumn. The color of the squash should be uniform and the finish dull and no longer shiny. If in doubt, poke the squash with your fingernail. The squash is ready to pick if you can’t puncture the rind.

Looking For Non-GMO Squash Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

Squash 101: Tricks To Help Your Harvest Last Months

Image source: Pixabay.com

Don’t rush to harvest squash, as immature squash doesn’t store well. However, weather is definitely a factor. Although one or two light frosts won’t damage most types of winter squash, repeated frost or a hard freeze can do serious damage.

Cut squash from the vine with scissors, leaving about an inch of stem on squash; never twist or pull. Leave about an inch of stem on winter squash and 3 to 4 inches of stem intact on pumpkins. (Jack O’Lanterns need a good handle.)

Handle the squash with tender loving care, as any cuts or scrapes can allow pathogens to enter the squash, thus greatly shortening the storage life. If any stems loosen or break, store the squash in the refrigerator and use it soon because it won’t keep.

Place winter squash in a covered porch or other protected, well-ventilated room for 10 days to two weeks. Ideally, squash should be cured at 80 to 80 Fahrenheit to harden the rind and heal any cuts with nighttime temps above 60 degrees. You can leave just-picked winter squash in the garden to dry if weather is dry and temperatures are below 95 degrees.

After curing, brush dirt away gently, and then wipe the squash with a solution of one part water to 10 parts bleach.

Store winter squash in a single layer, not touching each other in a cool, dry, well-ventilated room. Ideal temperatures for storage are between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t store squash near pears, apples or other fruits that emit ethylene gases that decrease the life of the squash.

Check the squash every couple of weeks, and discard or use any that are showing bruises or soft spots.

What advice would you add on storing squash? Share your tips in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

The 10-Year Shelf Life Food That Prisoners Are Stockpiling (And Bartering)

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The 10-Year Shelf Life Food That Prisoners Are Stockpiling

Long a staple of dorm room life as well as a favorite stockpile item, ramen noodles have become a trading commodity at American prisons.

According to a recent study by Michael Gibson-Light, a University of Arizona School of Sociology PhD candidate, the instant soup and noodle product is a valuable bartering tool for inmates for other food items, as well as clothing, personal hygiene products and services.

Frequently maligned for their high sodium content, ramen noodles now come in lower sodium versions and even organic versions.

“Prisoners are so unhappy with the quality and quantity of prison food that they receive that they have begun relying on ramen noodles – a cheap, durable food product – as a form of money in the underground economy,” Gibson-Light said in a news release.

For his research on how inmates are handling declining prison services, Gibson-Light interviewed staff members and male prisoners in an unnamed penitentiary. He reports that “soups,” as ramen noodles are called in prison, have replaced tobacco as the preferred currency for inmates and that prisoners even use “soups” as bargaining chips during card games.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

It is easy to see why. The ubiquitous soup product that features hot broth and noodles has a long shelf life and can be eaten “as-is” after mixing with hot water or as the base for other meals.

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Retailing for around 30 cents per three-ounce serving when purchased in bulk packs, ramen noodles are tasty and inexpensive, and they have up to a 10-year shelf life when stored in a cool, dry location. For many survivalists, ramen noodles are a stockpile staple.

Instant ramen was invented in 1958 by Momofuku Ando, a Taiwanese/Japanese entrepreneur, and is now a multibillion-dollar global industry. The word “ramen” is probably derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese for “lo mein,” which is also a boiled noodle dish.

The Maruchan Company, founded in 1953 by Japanese businessman Kazuo Mori, is the largest producer of instant ramen products. Since 1977 when it opened its first manufacturing plant in Irvine, Calif., Maruchan has produced its products in the United States.

“Maruchan” is a Japanese compound word that loosely translates to mean the round, happy face of a child. The Maruchan website says that it produces 3.6 billion packages of the popular noodle soup each year and boasts that if all those noodles were lined up end to end, they would reach from earth to Mars and back again.

The Chinese consume about 46 billion packets of ramen a year, making them the world’s largest consumers of the product, according to the World Instant Noodles Association.





What is your reaction? Do you stockpile ramen noodles? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

Alternative Refrigeration Options When SHTF

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Alternative Refrigeration Options When SHTF This is a great subject. This is always on the back of my mind. If the power goes out, we only have a few days, if that, to eat all of our frozen and refrigerated goods. If you don’t they will go bad and start to rot. What are your alternatives? …

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DIY Pallet Canning Pantry

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DIY Pallet Canning Pantry This is a great DIY guide to turn old pallets into a beautiful canning pantry cupboard, so you can sort out all your jars of your canned food. Storage is always a pain in my house and I’m sure it is in your house too. I guess if you can’t get …

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5 Survival Recipes You Can Make from Your Stockpile

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5 Survival Recipes You Can Make from Your Stockpile If you’ve been prepping for any length of time, you’ve started to build up your pantry stockpile to draw from when SHTF or when times get lean. There are many different survival pantry lists out there that list out what types of food to stockpile and … Continue reading 5 Survival Recipes You Can Make from Your Stockpile

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How To Make Homemade Jam Without Adding Pectin

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How To Make Homemade Jam Without Adding Pectin Nothing says “summer preserving” more than homemade jam, but if you’re using store-bought pectin, you may be adding ingredients that you’d rather leave out. Nearly all of the boxed and liquid pectins that you can buy at the store contain genetically modified ingredients, something many people are …

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How Much Food Fits in Different Containers For Storage

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How Much Food Fits in Different Containers For Storage If you are starting out prepping, saving food for a rainy day or just have no idea how much food certain containers hold, usaemergencysupply.com have a great table that tells you approximately how much food can be stored safely in containers ranging from 1 to 6 …

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10 Essential Foods To Include In Your Food Storage

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10 Essential Foods To Include In Your Food Storage Summer is here. That means increased chances of heat waves, wildfires, monsoons and hurricanes. So, what have you done to prepare for such disasters? Well, we’re here to help you be prepared by starting your food storage. When starting your food storage, experts suggest keeping things …

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How to Calculate How Much Food to Store

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how much food to storeWhen I first began setting up my family’s food storage pantry, I was in a bit of a panic. It was late 2008, the economy was beginning to wave red warning flags, and all I wanted was to keep my family safe and surviving. I never stopped to figure out how much food to store.

So, into the shopping cart went multiple cans of ravioli, boxes of granola bars, juice boxes, and Honey Nut Cheerios. I had no idea of how much we needed to have, nor which foods were best. I just figured that food would keep us alive, and that was what was most important.

Well, that’s not a bad starting point, but over time, my  knowledge of food storage increased and the contents of my pantry improved, and I owe it all to spaghetti sauce.

The spaghetti sauce eye-opener

One day, after I’d been storing food for several months, I was looking over my over-stuffed pantry shelves and counted the jars of spaghetti sauce I had on hand. 53. Fifty-three jars of Prego, Ragu, Paul Newman’s — pretty much any brand for which I had found a coupon.

Then I counted the amount of spaghetti I had: 13 packages. How did I plan on making spaghetti as a meal without much actual spaghetti? That’s when I realized the importance of aligning what was in my pantry with specific meals planned and knowing how much of each ingredient to purchase and store.

As a mom, I do my regular grocery shopping around a menu. I make a list of what I want to cook for dinners, what we’ll eat for breakfasts and lunches, and then create a shopping list. I think in terms of recipes, not so much in terms of ounces or pounds of specific ingredients.

Over time, this is pretty much how I’ve managed my entire food storage. It’s centered around what we actually like to eat and meals that are easy to prepare if we were without power and I had to use a solar oven, like this one. Even in the best of times, cooking is not my favorite past time, so why complicate the process when planning for the worst of times with overly fussy recipes that are time consuming.

When all hell is breaking loose, who cares if they’re eating chili mac or boeuf bourguignon?

It’s important to have a solid idea of how much food your family consumes now as well as how much it will consume following a major disaster of some type. That way, you’ll know your own family’s needs are covered, will have an idea of how much you can spare (or not) in helping others, and will also let you know when you’ve reached your food storage goal.

Get started with the recipes

One of the best ways to make sure you are storing what you eat, is by doing doing just that – STORE WHAT YOU EAT! Find your family’s favorite recipes and then figure out how much food you’ll need to be able to make those meals for 3 months, 6 months, or however long you want to hide out in your home away from zombies.

You might have to make some minor adjustments to your recipes –  like having canned chicken on hand, or buying some freeze-dried fruits and veggies, but if you plan ahead you will have everything you need in case Ebola strikes your town and you need to hide out for awhile.

Some of the recipes that I have in my food storage planner are Macho Mexican Rice (been making this for years, you can tweak it in dozens of different ways), No-Recipe Soups, and various types of skillet casseroles.

In the case of soups and casseroles, their cooking pots or pans become both a mixing bowl, the cooking/baking vessel, and then the serving dish, all in one. Again, think “hard times, no power, must…keep…up…my…strength”. Anything that makes the whole cooking/eating/cleaning cycle easy is the route to take.

As well, look for recipes that are shelf stable and do not require refrigeration. In prepper circles, this is why dehydrated and freeze-dried foods are so popular. Stock up on cans of freeze-dried ground beef, store in on a shelf in a cool location, and you’ll be able to make hamburger pie, chili, or tacos in a matter of 5 minutes. The brand of freeze-dried food that I use most often is Thrive Life, but there are many different brands on the market.

For recipes requiring fresh produce, consider buying freeze-dried and/or dehydrated. Dittos if they call for meat and dairy products. Freeze-dried cheese is surprisingly good, although expensive.

The breakfasts and lunches at my house rarely require an actual recipe. For breakfast, I personally favor oatmeal and homemade pancakes. If I make 3-4 loaves of bread per week for my family of 4, I can serve up sandwiches at lunch. Leftovers are another popular lunch item as well as quick meals of pasta and homemade marinara sauce. Even though these meals are quick and casual, I will still have to account for them in my planning.

How to calculate how much food to store

Now that you have your meals planned, it’s time to calculate how much food you’ll need. A goal of 3 months is a reasonable one for more people and all too many crises, such as Superstorm Sandy, have proven that life doesn’t always return to normal as quickly as we might expect.

Also, in the days and weeks following a major disaster and the grocery stores have re-opened, do you really want to have grocery shopping on your To Do list? That stash of food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc. will be a godsend in more ways than one.

So, on to our calculations.

For each recipe, decide how many times you want to make it in a given month. A meal of pasta and marinara would be fine with my own family if I served it once a week. Dittos for the Macho Mexican Rice and chicken salad using freeze dried chicken. I’ll plan on making each of these meals once a week, or 12 times for my 3-month plan.

For your planning purposes, it will be simpler to assume each main meal/recipe will be made once a week. Therefore, when it comes time to begin shopping for ingredients, you’ll take each recipe, multiply each ingredient times 12, and that’s how much of each ingredient you’ll need to stock up on.

Going back to my Mexican rice recipe, let’s use that as an example:

  • 2 cups white rice
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 3 cups water or chicken broth
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. each: cumin, chili powder
  • 1 can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 c. corn (frozen, freeze-dried, or canned)
  • 1/2 c. salsa

My plan is to make this once a week and, since all the ingredients are very food-storage friendly (have long shelf lives and can be stored at room temperature), I’m ready to move on to my calculations by multiplying each ingredient amount by 12.

  • 24 cups white rice
  • 36 T. olive oil
  • 36 cups water or chicken broth
  • 24 T. tomato paste
  • 24 cloves garlic
  • 6 t. salt
  • 12 t. each: cumin, chili powder
  • 12 cans chopped green chilies
  • 6 c. corn
  • 6 c. salsa

Looking over this list, a few things come to mind that will make storing this food easier. First, rice is inexpensive and maybe another rice-centered meal would be a good idea. I can buy a 50 pound bag of rice at Costco and be ready to make many dozens of these recipes. That would cover 2 days per week with 2 rice meals.

Storing oil can be tricky, and I detail the problem and solutions in this article, but in this case, olive oil stores for quite a long while on its own and can also be refrigerated or even frozen to extend its shelf life.

Next, if I prefer chicken broth over water, I can buy a large can of chicken bouillon and be good for at least a year. The bouillon from the grocery store is very expensive in comparison. Buy tomato paste in the largest size can OR make my own with tomato powder and a little bit of water.

Most of my recipes require garlic and I have a good supply of garlic powder on hand already. For this recipe and during a time of duress, I’d go ahead and use that garlic powder in lieu of fresh garlic. If you also use a lot of garlic in your cooking, plant many cloves of it and begin harvesting your own.

The remaining ingredients are all nicely shelf stable and will last for years by storing them in a dark, cool location — away from the enemies of food storage. I buy many spices in bulk already and canned goods and the salsa can be purchased inexpensively with coupons.

Once I know how much of each ingredient I need for this recipe, I need to make the same calculations for every other recipe in my plan. Honestly, this is the hardest part of the whole planning process.

You’ll end up with quite a long list of ingredients, but you’ll find a lot of recipes will call for the same ingredient. Between coupons, grocery store sales, and buying food in bulk when it costs less per unit, this really doesn’t have to be expensive.

By the way, if these large amounts cause you to freak out, just step your goal down a notch from 3 months to 1 month or from 1 month to 2 weeks. The main goal is to have extra food on hand that your family will eat and that can be prepared for a time of emergency. Once you get those 2 weeks or that 1 month under your belt, just repeat the process, except this time around, you’ll be a pro!

The recipe secret

If you think about a time when you’ll have to rely on stored food to see you and your family through a very tough time, the last thing you’ll want to do is make complicated recipes. The Mexican rice recipe borders on being almost too fussy for a survival recipe, but I’ve made it many times and know that I can make it as simple as possible by using only the first 6 or 7 ingredients AND I can turn it into a very satisfying meal by adding just about any kind of meat, including homemade hamburger rocks or freeze-dried beef.

The secret to making the planning, shopping, and storing of your food easy is by selecting very simple recipes that call for basic ingredients that will also be used in other dishes. If your kids can also make the recipes, that’s a huge bonus. This article provides even more details for the planning process.

Depending on your own style and skills, all this information can be kept in a spreadsheet or on sheets of plain old notebook paper. You’ll definitely want to have a system for tracking what you have and what you still need to buy.

how much food to store

160 Reasons to Stock Coconut Oil

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160 Reasons to Stock Coconut Oil Coconut oil is magical in my opinion. I have been blogging about homesteading and self-reliance for many years now and I still come across new things you can do / use coconut oil for. Coconut oil offers a wide range of health benefits, coconut oil is affordable, readily available …

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Don’t Cut Corners: How to Identify Food Grade Buckets

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Don’t Cut Corners: How to Identify Food Grade Buckets When it comes to cutting corners to save a buck or two, you shouldn’t on storing food. If you do not use food grade buckets you will find your food will not last very long. There are ways to tell if the buckets are food grade or …

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